Doors open at new Waiouru I-SITE

Ruapehu Press - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

The new I-SITE lo­cated at the Na­tional Army Mu­seum of­fi­cially opened its doors on Mon­day mak­ing it the 80th site in the coun­try.

With over 150,000 vis­i­tors per year al­ready vis­it­ing the Army Mu­seum it’s an­tic­i­pated the I-SITE will be busy.

Ex­ec­u­tive man­ager of I-SITE New Zealand, Paul Yeo,said the co-lo­ca­tion of the I-SITE at the Army Mu­seum makes eco­nomic sense and is a busi­ness model shared by other I-SITE’S mak­ing it a win for the Ruapehu dis­trict.

‘‘This is a prime lo­ca­tion for vis­i­tors to pop in be­fore or after tak­ing SH1 through the Desert Rd or for ad­vice on al­ter­na­tive routes, to lesser-vis­ited des­ti­na­tions.

Ruapehu I-SITE man­ager Kim Treen, said there was real ex­cite­ment about be­ing part of the Na­tional Army Mu­seum.

‘‘Be­ing lo­cated at the gate­way to the Cen­tral Plateau mu­seum vis­i­tors will be able to get ex­pert lo­cal ad­vice for all of the Ruapehu sub-re­gion as well [as] book travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences for Ruapehu and any­where else around New Zealand.

‘‘Hav­ing the trained I-SITE staff and sys­tems within the Na­tional Army Mu­seum and be­ing able to pro­vide th­ese ser­vices on the spot will sig­nif­i­cantly en­hance the visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one’s ben­e­fit,’’ Teen said.

Yeo said it was an ex­cit­ing time for the in­dus­try as the de­mand for visi­tor in­for­ma­tion is set to in­crease as tourism con­tin­ues to grow.

‘‘I-SITES are in the busi­ness of pro­vid­ing trusted in­for­ma­tion for all vis­i­tors. They en­cour­age in­ter­na­tional and na­tional vis­i­tors to try out new places and ex­pe­ri­ences as they travel around the coun­try.

‘‘Each year I-SITES col­lec­tively man­age more than eight mil­lion visi­tor en­quires and for ev­ery $1 pro­vided in fund­ing, the net­work re­turns on av­er­age $8.70 in GDP.’’

Each I-SITE Visi­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre through­out New Zealand is in­di­vid­u­ally owned and op­er­ated.

Col­lec­tively, the I-SITES re­ceive around 8 mil­lion vis­its from trav­ellers seek­ing in­de­pen­dent ad­vice about where to go and what to do in a re­gion and han­dle $64 mil­lion worth of ac­tiv­ity and ac­com­mo­da­tion book­ings for the tourism sec­tor.

I-SITES aim to sup­port trav­el­ling New Zealan­ders when they hol­i­day around the coun­try and im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors have when here.

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