Pūtea: Word of mouth marketing important for tourism industry

Pūtea: Word of mouth marketing important for tourism industry


And while we’re on the topic
of the Lions tour, earlier I spoke to Brook Grant
about the Lions tour. My first question to him was,
how beneficial has the Lions tour and their legion of fans
have been on the local economy? Yes 20,000 tourists are here. So while the main kaupapa is rugby, it’s also turning out to be quite
economically beneficial for us. Is this series bigger
than the 2011 Rugby World Cup? No, that competition
was of course much bigger. Our local economy
made around $600 million. Experts estimate it’s more around
$150 million for the Lions tour. This series is still
quite significant though. So what should Maori businesses do so they can get in some
of the action with the Lions tour? Yes well as I mentioned earlier
there are 20,000 tourists here. So they’re not going to be watching
rugby 24/7 while they’re here. They’ll be spending time
at their accommodation, eating, partaking beverages and checking out
local tourist attractions. So our Maori businesses
should grab the bull by the horns when it comes to catering
to the tourists. I also believe that we should
be thinking outside of the square. I’ve read about someone in Auckland
who saw that the hotels were full, so they started to buy caravans,
took them to a race course and set them up
as alternative accommodation for those who were let down
by the hotels. And also Brook, hotels and motels
have increased prices in time for the arrival
of Lions fans. Do you think what they did, increasing prices
for accommodation, is ok? Well some think that’s one of the
good things that’s come of this, and is a natural consequence
of demand exceeding supply. However my opinion
is that we need to think long-term. 20,000 people have come here. And if they’re happy with our food
and staying here, then they are going to be advocates
for New Zealand when they head back home and talk to their friends,
family and businesses. So that could lead to others
coming here too. I asked you earlier what should
Maori businesses do to get a piece of the action
with the Lions tour, what can they do to deal
with the large numbers? For example, Wetini Mitai’s tourism
venture in Rotorua, do they need to increase
the number of performers and performances on a single day so they can adequately host all
of the Lions fans that will go by his way? Yes well hopefully
they’ve already thought ahead about the possible increased numbers
of people that are coming and so they might have changed the
programme for the performances, increased the number of performers, and ensured the village
is extra tidy. All of those kinds
of preparation tasks. I subscribe to the view that first
impressions last forever and a day. So to repeat something
that I’ve heard, which you’ve said Scotty,
dress for the part, metaphorically. You need to fix your tie up
and we need to smile for the next three to four weeks, and we need to really
put the hard yards in to look after our visitors
– something that we are good at. Brook Grant, thank you.

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