Kapiti Chamber of Commerce Chair Mark Ternent
The Kapiti Chamber encourages Kapiti businesses and people to "be open, be welcoming, and be a part of the Rugby World Cup 2011" says Chamber Chairman Mark Ternent.
The Chamber encourages businesses to go online to the rugby world cup websites which have just gone live – there are opportunities to sign up, be visible and potentially make good connections. "It's not just about ringing the till" says Mr Ternent, "it's also about exporting businesses in particular making contacts and building relationships with business people coming to NZ for the rugby". The Chamber is advising businesses to visit www.nz2011.govt.nz/business and www.realnzshowcase.com as these sites have been set up to help kiwi businesses get long term benefits from the Rugby World Cup. "If you can meet a rugby-supporting business person while they are here, and who wants to meet you, then that could be a great long term advantage for you" says Mr Ternent.
The Chamber is encouraging all Kapiti Coasters to visit a similar site www.realnzfestival.com. "It's great to see a coordinated showcasing of the 'Real New Zealand' and the multitudes of festival activities that will be going on around the country" says Mr Ternent. These websites are not just for business, they are for all community groups and kiwis in general. They are not just for overseas visitors, they also tell Kiwis where all the events are, "there's more ways to enjoy the Rugby World Cup than sitting at home in front of the TV or going to the matches – get out, take the family and be a part of an event" says Mr Ternent.
The Chamber is also asking Kapiti Coasters to let their friends and relatives overseas know about these websites – "let's get some social media going" says Mr Ternent.
Kapiti is not a venue for any of the games, nor is it the biggest attraction in New Zealand. But what Kapiti does have is a beautiful district, friendly 'small town' feel, some great attractions, and a location close to Wellington on the main north-south road. "We are one of New Zealand's hidden gems", says Mr Ternent.
There will be some RWC travellers who seek out Kapiti because they are aware of us, or because of the of the tourism marketing done by Nature Coast Enterprise. However there will be many others who simply chose to stop off as they are driving through the district on SH1 between games, or who are in the Wellington region and are looking for somewhere to visit or stay. It is crucial that local businesses who wish to benefit from the Rugby World Cup are open at the right times, clean, welcoming, friendly and generally have 'in store' what these travellers are looking for. We encourage Council and Nature Coast Enterprise to play a role in this too.
We are aware of businesses who are getting together to support each other and take action and encourage these businesses to continue. One such group in the tourism arena has been led by long-time Chamber Management Committee member Iride McCloy and is next meeting on 12 April. The Chamber encourages this initiative and tourism businesses wishing to be a part of it should contact Iride or her team at Trilogy Travel Tours and Shuttles.