Ngai Tahu kaumatua Sir Tipene O'Regan will headline a
cultural symposium in Dunedin today, focused on the
significance of Maori and Chinese in the tourism industry.
Sir Tipene will be the first keynote speaker of the day-long
2013 cross-cultural tourism symposium, organised by Otago
Polytechnic principal business lecturer Dr Sharleen Howison.
The event aimed to highlight global tourism trends and
address the importance of cultural dimensions in the local,
national and international tourism industry.
Emphasis on Maori and Chinese cultures reflected the
importance of developing relations between New Zealand and
Many Dunedin tourism operators have started implementing
special offers, itineraries, products and services to
accommodate the growing Chinese market.
A huge increase in business from Chinese visitors to New
Zealand has been forecast, and has dominated discussion at
various national tourism conferences including the 2013
Tourism Industry Association Summit held in Wellington last
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week free Mandarin
classes will be held at the University of Otago for business
professionals dealing with companies throughout Asia.
Today's symposium at the polytechnic will also include
presentations from Prof Kaye Chon, of the Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, as well as Dunedin tourism
professionals and business managers.
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said his
presentation would include information about how local
tourism professionals could better attract Chinese visitors
and make the most of opportunities from China.
Mr Saxton would also talk about Dunedin's sister city
relationship with Shanghai.