Ruapehu trials i-Site for tourists

By Staff Reporter

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TEAM WORK: Kim Treen [left], Ruapehu i-Site manager, will be working with Whakapapa Visitor Centre DoC supervisor Melissa Owen and her staff Karen Ardin, Nellie Ruatara and Simon O'Neill.
TEAM WORK: Kim Treen [left], Ruapehu i-Site manager, will be working with Whakapapa Visitor Centre DoC supervisor Melissa Owen and her staff Karen Ardin, Nellie Ruatara and Simon O'Neill.

The Department of Conservation Visitor Centre at Whakapapa Village will soon have an official i-Site.

The nine-month trial scheduled to start next month is a New Zealand first and will see trained i-Site staff provide visitor information and booking services from the visitor centre on Mt Ruapehu.

Ruapehu i-Site manager Kim Treen said visitors could get expert local advice for all of Ruapehu as well book travel, accommodation and experiences for Ruapehu and anywhere else around New Zealand.

"The Ruapehu i-Site and DoC already have a well-established relationship with DoC staff working from the Ohakune i-Site," she said.

"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 discussions with Ruapehu tourism operators in Whakapapa Village had been overwhelmingly in support of the trial.

"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."

Whakapapa Visitor Centre DoC supervisor Melissa Owen said the DoC national office was excited by the trial.

"Our statistics tell us that between 50 to 60 per cent of visitors ask for booking information or want to make a booking for travel, accommodation or an activity while at the visitor centre," she said.

"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."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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