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Bringing the world south: meet the teams taking part in the first-ever Lightning Lab Tourism in Christchurch

Taking tourism to the world

Bringing the world south: meet the teams taking part in the first-ever Lightning Lab Tourism in Christchurch

Tourism may be Aotearoa’s largest export industry these days. Yet despite the many other accelerator programmes operating in New Zealand, there hasn’t been a Lightning Lab Tourism – until now. Here, we look at the six teams taking part in the accelerator, featuring : Road Guru, PowerTrip, Stay Native, Hidden Gems, AirGuides, CHU NZ and Tourism Ticker.

Cultural preservation

The mighty East Cape Region is an untouched wonder in the North Island. While it represents one of the first regions discovered by Captain Cook, it’s one of the least influenced by the throes of colonisation. Still today, the vast coastline is defined by the heart of its local iwi (Ngāti Porou) and is largely hinged on agriculture, with few alternative avenues of business. The area has a rich heritage: referenced in the famous Māori myth Māui and the sun, and more recently, it was the setting for acclaimed New Zealand films Boy and Whale Rider. Now, a new tourism organisation - Maunga Hikurangi - plans to tell its story in a bid to attract tourists, boost commerce, and invite distant Ngāti Porou back into the community. We chat with creative director Timothy Livingston to discuss the possible tension between tourism growth and cultural preservation on the East Cape.

A walk in the park

Bastion Point, a park perched on top of a hill overlooking Mission Bay, receives 500,000 visitors annually, but the cultural history of the place remains mostly invisible. A high-tech tourism offering hopes to change this, with local iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei partnering with creative agency M Theory to launch an AR tour app that brings the tales usually told orally to life.

Wish we'd thought of that

Tourism is now New Zealand's largest industry. Are you doing something utterly awesome that you think deserves to be recognised at the 2017 New Zealand Innovation Awards? Then enter it in the Innovation in Tourism and Entertainment category, sponsored by none other than us here at Idealog.