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Ed Sheeran

Maori approach suits tourism trend

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More than 350 tourism operators from here and abroad are in Waitangi this week for the World Indigenous Tourism Summit.

New Zealand Maori Tourism chair Dale Stephens says tourists are increasingly looking for the indigenous element of a country.

He says New Zealand is now perceived as being about sustainability and Maori are seen as playing a key role in the guardianship of natural areas.

"That lends itself really well to where tourism is now going internationally where people no longer want to get on a bus tour and take pictures of big buildings and they want to get out of that bus, they want to go and experience the culture, the country, the physical activities, the outdoors, not just be entertained but actually participate," Mr Stephens says.

Tourism is viable not just for post-settlement iwi who may want to diversify but also for smaller whanau businesses which can offer visitors unique experiences.


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