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Maori-based tourism in Rotorua : perceptions of place by domestic visitors
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by C Ryan, S Pike
This paper reports findings from a survey of 763 Auckland residents. The research examined attitudes towards the resort town of Rotorua as a short-break destination with specific reference to the role that Maori culture plays in the formation of perceptions of Rotorua. The Te Arawa Maori people have been closely associated with tourism for over 140 years and this is recognised by the domestic market. However, the Maori component of Rotorua is found not to be an attraction. Rather, tourists are drawn to other facets of the product. While this is evidence for the fact that Rotorua is a multi-use product in tourism, given the role that travel is supposed to play in bridging gaps between cultures, tourism seems to be failing in this respect. It is suggested that an emphasis upon 'traditional authenticities' aimed at certain overseas segments misses the contemporary vibrant nature of Maori music and dance performance that might in fact have a wider appeal, including the domestic tourism market.