Whale Watch Kaikoura Joins Business Delegation To China   31 May 2012

Iconic tourism company Whale Watch Kaikoura will be represented in a business delegation to China this month that will be led by Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples.

“Whale Watch Kaikoura brings together Maori knowledge, environmental stewardship and pioneering business acumen,” said Dr Sharples.

“Asia’s Dragon economies are fast becoming the centre of gravity of our global economy with China at the helm. Leaders from our Maori ‘Taniwha economy’ are heading to China to strengthen existing cultural and economic relationships.”

A world class ecotourism venture, in 2010 Whale Watch Kaikoura took out the Community Benefit Award at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards hosted by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) in Beijing, China. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the global Travel and Tourism industry Whale Watch Kaikoura was one of 160 tourism operators from 45 countries considered for the awards.

Dr Sharples says the phenomenal growth of the Asian and Chinese economies is something the Maori Taniwha economy can relate and aspire to. Estimated by BERL to be worth $38 billion in 2010, maximising the Maori economy’s export and innovation potential will be crucial to its future success.

“We have no choice but to do what it takes to boost revenue and exports to support businesses, communities and families across our country. At this month’s FOMA Science and Innovation symposium BERL’s Chief Economist Ganesh Nana told Maori asset holders that we must ‘export or die’: we choose export.”

The business delegation is made up of representatives from a wide range of sectors including fishing, forestry, agribusiness, education, food and beverage, investment and banking. The delegation is part of an ongoing strategy supported by Te Puni Kokiri to strengthen trade relationships with China.

“Some of our largest Maori-owned farms, iconic tourism ventures and other innovative businesses are joining us – at no small expense to themselves,” said Dr Sharples.

Whale Watch Kaikoura’s Chief Operating Officer, Kauahi Ngapora and Marketing Assistant for Asia, WenBin Ju were named in the delegation by Dr Sharples this week.

(New Zealand Government)

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