Ki­wis called on to forge visi­tor links

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Waikato busi­nesses in­clud­ing those in Mata­mata are be­ing called to ac­tion to make the most of this year’s Rugby World Cup, with ‘‘ real’’ New Zealand hos­pi­tal­ity be­ing what the world wants to see.

Op­por­tu­nity Hamil­ton, the city’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency, hosted more than 100 busi­ness lead­ers from around the Waikato at the launch of its re­gional in­vest­ment prospec­tus and associated web­site www.in­vest­waikato.com re­cently.

The web­site and prospec­tus are tools for Waikato busi­ness own­ers to at­tract global busi­ness in­ter­est among vis­i­tors to large-scale events like the world cup.

Busi­nesses and their global coun­ter­parts can reg­is­ter their busi­ness in­ter­ests on the web­site at no charge.

At the launch func­tion Op­por­tu­nity Hamil­ton chief ex­ec­u­tive San­dra Perry joined New Zealand 2011 Of­fice di­rec­tor Leon Grice in call­ing Waikato busi­ness own­ers to take ac­tion to net their share of the pro­jected $1 bil­lion to be gen­er­ated by Rugby World Cup vis­i­tors.

Guest speaker Leon Grice, di­rec­tor of the New Zealand 2011 Of­fice, said real Kiwi ex­pe­ri­ences, like fish­ing, bar­be­ques and Maori cul­ture, would im­press vis­i­tors most.

‘‘Our pro­gramme is about mak­ing con­nec­tions. It’s not about do­ing deals but about build­ing as many global con­nec­tions as pos­si­ble,’’ Mr Grice said.

Of­fer­ing au­then­tic New Zealand ex­pe­ri­ences that ‘‘ money can’t buy’’ would go down best with in­ter­na­tional cup guests, he said.

‘‘Do some­thing you would do any­way and in­clude a visi­tor. Go fish­ing, have a bar­be­cue, these things let peo­ple make con­nec­tions.’’

Mr Grice en­cour­aged busi­ness peo­ple to con­tact Op­por­tu­nity Hamil­ton if they were in­ter­ested in host­ing vis­i­tors.

He re­vealed the lat­est in­ter­na­tional visi­tor sta­tis­tics at the launch, say­ing half of all in­ter­na­tional busi­ness club mem­bers planned to travel to Waikato for games.

About 23,000

of

the

ex­pected 85,000 world cup vis­i­tors planned to visit the Waikato re­gion, in­di­cat­ing their in­ter­est in par­tic­u­lar sec­tors such as wine, food and na­ture, Mr Grice said.

More than 50 per cent of vis­i­tors are keen to sam­ple New Zealand wine and food – the most pop­u­lar in­ter­est from an In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Club sur­vey.

They also plan to stay in New Zealand more than 15 nights, with 28 per cent plan­ning to stay more than 29 nights.

About 40 per cent of those sur­veyed want to ex­pe­ri­ence New Zealand out­doors, with 32 per cent in­ter­ested in ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties.

Maori cul­ture is also high on the visi­tor to-do list, with 30 per cent want­ing an in­dige­nous cul­ture ex­pe­ri­ence.

Most of the vis­i­tors are ei­ther com­pany own­ers, direc­tors, man­agers or ex­ec­u­tives from Aus­tralia, Eng­land, Sin­ga­pore, the US or South Africa.

Sign­ing up to the busi­ness club is easy.

Just go to http:/ / www. nz2011. govt. nz/ busi­ness/ join-the-club/

Mem­bers re­ceive an in­for­ma­tive e-news­let­ter each month in the lead up to the tour­na­ment.

Host­ing ex­am­ples and ways to be in­volved are fea­tured in the news­let­ter.

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