February 23, 2022
Tourist operators pray for recovery
The pou tikanga for New Zealand Māori Tourism says operators are praying for their survival and a path to recovery.
Whitiaua Black, whose job involved helping firms to strengthen the cultural aspects of what they offer, says many operators have only survived the past two years because of government help.
He says the stress of the pandemic has increased demand for his services as firms rethink their offerings, and many operators have also joined the online karakia with which he starts and finishes the week.
“This provides them something to lean back to because te ao Māori is something that helps your inner well being and some of the kōrero from our tūpuna way back from the times of the black flu, there’s a lot of kōrero tohutohu and kōrero tuku iho that can help us look forward in these trying times,” Mr Black says.
He says increasing cultural content can make existing businesses more attractive, such as an eco-tourism experience that offers not just the chance to go eeling but also teaches the tikanga behind eeling and the stories of the awa and the landscape.