A new Comvita experience centre at Paengaroa has celebrated its official opening today.
The expanded and purpose built visitor attraction was developed in a joint venture with tourism company, the Department of Discovery, and has extended the existing visitor centre (established in 2003) to a total of 840 sqm.
Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said Experience Comvita would further build brand reputation by engaging the visitor in the unique New Zealand story - "how we are being connected to nature, the source of our ingredients and how this connection, combined with research and science, enables people to live more healthy, vibrant lives".
"Experience Comvita is a new tourism destination that takes visitors on a journey of discovery, starting with Tane, the Maori God of the forest and the story of nature's powerful ingredients, then in a world first tourism experience, visitors will enter a 'virtual beehive'. In the Wellness Room, visitors see how, as a result of our busy pressured lives and the advance of urbanisation, we've become disconnected from nature. A recipe for renewal is offered, one that shows a way to improve our own health and the health of the planet."
Department of Discovery managing director Andrew Te Whaiti said the new attraction would be modelled on the 'New Tourism' ethos and will be a tremendous boost for tourism in the Bay of Plenty.
Mr Hewlett said "the development of Experience Comvita also signalled our commitment to remaining in Paengaroa and continuing to be part of the community, as we have been since Comvita's inception in 1974.