NZ FIRST TRIAL OF OFFICIAL i-SITE IN DOC VISITOR CENTRE
Ruapehu’s i-SITE network and the Department of Conservation (DoC) are trialling a NZ first by putting an official i-SITE into the DoC Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village at Mt Ruapehu.
nine-month trial scheduled to start in July will see trained i-SITE
staff provide visitor information and booking services from the DoC Whakapapa Visitor Centre.
Ruapehu i-SITE Manager Kim Treen said that this will now mean that visitors will be able to get expert local advice for all of Ruapehu as well book travel, accommodation and experiences for Ruapehu and anywhere else around NZ.
“The Ruapehu i-SITE’s and DoC already have a well-established beneficial relationship with DoC staff working from the Ohakune i-SITE, however this is the first time anywhere in NZ that official i-SITE services have been provided from within a DoC visitor centre,” she said.
“With the Whakapapa
Visitor Centre being amongst the top three busiest in NZ attracting
180,000 visitors a year this was a major vote of confidence in the
relationship between DoC and Ruapehu i-SITEs.”
“The DoC Whakapapa
Visitor Centre will now be a ‘one stop shop’ offering a full package of
visitor information and booking services with i-SITE staff on duty
seven days a week every day that the Visitor Centre is open.”
Ms. Treen said that discussions with Ruapehu tourism operators in Whakapapa Village have found them to be overwhelmingly in support of the trial.
“Everyone sees the initiative as helping to improve the connections between tourism operators and visitors,” she said.
“If the trial is as successful as we believe it will be, both Ruapehu District Council (which run the i-SITEs) and DoC are keen to see a ‘full blown’ i-SITE operating from within the Visitor Centre and the concept extended.”
DoC Supervisor Whakapapa Visitor Centre Melissa Owen said that the DoC national office was very excited to see the trial of i-SITE services being provided from the Visitor Centre get underway.
statistics tell us that between 50 to 60 percent of visitors ask for
booking information or want to make a booking for travel, accommodation
or an activity while at the Visitor Centre.”
“Having the trained
i-SITE staff and systems available within the Visitor Centre and being
able to provide these services on the spot will significantly enhance
the visitor experience for everyone’s benefit.”
For information on the two i-SITE Visitor Consultant positions see: http://goo.gl/P3LeIC