Bay of Islands hapū will welcome 200 international travel agents and the president of a leading cruise line as they host the second Waitangi Marae Māori Markets tomorrow.
Bay of Islands-Taiamai hapū launched their first Māori Markets at Waitangi Marae last month as a result of a partnership with Princess Cruises which will see the markets promoted on board and passengers shuttled by ship tender to Waitangi Wharf throughout the cruise ship season.
The second market will be held tomorrow , with the arrival of the Majestic Princess.
Hone Mihaka, a representative of the hapū collective, said this time hapū would also host Princess Cruises' president Jan Swartz, the Princess Cruises Asia-Pacific senior executive team, and 200 international travel agents who are travelling on the ship.
"Who knows how many people are going to book holidays in the years to come as a result of these travel agents coming to the Māori Markets? You've got 200 international travel agents that are going to go away and talk about the Bay of Islands," he said.
The markets showcase Northland Māori arts; crafts; and trade stalls, but Mihaka said because travel agents were visiting, hapū had also invited Māori tourism operators in the Bay of Islands to attend.
"All it's going to cost them is a koha to the marae to get their product exposed and to get more exposure internationally via these 200 travel agents. It's a great opportunity for all."
Mihaka said Swartz and her team will be welcomed to the marae at 1.30pm, earlier in the day hapū will also host a group of travel writers.
Ngāti Hine will be picking up the groups and taking them to the marae on a waka which has been provided by Te Uritaniwha, Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Hineira; Ngāti Rehia will be doing the welcome and challenge; and Ngāti Rahiri and Ngāti Kawa are the hosting hapū.
"They're interested in every aspect of our community, not just the Māori Market. The market is great because it gives us a connection, and provides a connection for their customers and indigenous New Zealand," he said.
The markets run from 9am.