Ruapehu i-Site leads way in visitor networking co-operative
Ruapehu i-Site manager Kim Treen has attended a hui between the i-Site Visitor Information Network and the Department of Conservation (DoC) to discuss how the visitor experience can be improved through a more cohesive service.
The Ruapehu i-Site network was the first in New Zealand to trial putting an official i-Site into a DoC Visi t or Centre in Whakapapa Village at Mt Ruapehu.
The success of that trial has now s een f our of t hese arrangements established, with Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin joining Ruapehu in offering visitors expert local advice as well booking travel, accommodation and experiences for their i-Site area and anywhere else around New Zealand.
Treen said the focus of the hui was on enabling the colocated i-Site and DoC visitor centres to work together better, hi ghli ghti ng opportunities through sales, training and technology.
“Having the trained i-Site staff and systems operating alongside DoC Visitor Centre staff significantly enhances the visitor experience for everyone’s benefit.”
Feedback from Ruapehu tourism operators has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the i-SITEs and DoC working more closely together, which they see as improving the connections between tourism operators and visitors, she said.
i-Site executive manager Paul Yeo said the more services can be integrated into one dualbranded location with staff trained to handle any type of question, the better the experience for visitors and they may be encouraged to stay longer while in New Zealand.
Yeo said he’d like to see even more i-Site and DoC visitor centres co-locating in the future.
DoC customer and brand manager Sarah Wood added that the DoC/i-Site hui was hugely beneficial.
Ruapehu was the first i-Site network in the country to trial putting an i-Site operation into a Department of Conservation visitor centre in Whakapapa Village.