Kiwis called on to forge visitor links
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.
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.