The Elms is pulling in visitor numbers and is hoping to add new components to its tours to attract more cruise ship visitors.

The Elms Foundation manager Andrew Gregg said at yesterday's Tauranga City Council Monitoring Committee meeting it had been an exceptional 12 months for The Elms in terms of activity and in terms of change.

"That will continue for the foreseeable period as well."

Mr Gregg said The Elms would be opening a new building that has been off limits to the public in the past, and new special tour options were also being developed.


The organisation has trained 10 new guides.

Visitor numbers were at 7000, not including an additional 3000 visitors from events - the British car show, the Christmas carols, the garden art fair and the Tauranga College reunion.

Mr Gregg said The Elms was looking at trying a few new things to improve the experience for cruise ship visitors.

"One of the things we're developing at the moment is a theatrical component to our cruise ship experience - having a person in costume who will greet passengers as they arrive, talk for about 15 minutes about what life was like, what The Elms is, take them in to the significant sites on the property for them to explore themselves."

Mr Gregg said the costumed person would likely play the role of Charlotte Brown, who was missionary Alfred Brown's first wife.