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About the industry

New Zealand's unique Māori culture is one of the main reasons our visitors come here.

The number, variety and quality of Māori tourism businesses have increased dramatically over the last few years and the sector now makes an important contribution to New Zealand's regional economies.


New Zealand's Māori culture is second only to our landscapes as the main reason visitors come here. If tourism experiences are able to incorporate both of these aspects in an authentic way, it makes for a winning combination.

Although the traditional aspects such as kapa haka remain important parts of Māori life - and tourism - today there is a much wider range of tourism products that incorporate a Māori element. Experiences such as hiking, white water rafting, art and cultural tours, and the opportunity to hear the unique stories behind New Zealand's places, people and activities first-hand are proving to be popular among international visitors.

Interpretation and storytelling are combining the best of New Zealand's spectacular landscape with Māori stories and legends - and international visitors love it.

Building awareness and capability

Tourism New Zealand's work in Māori development is focused on a few key areas:

  • Building the organisation's own internal capacity and understanding of Māori culture

  • Helping build the capability of Māori tourism businesses

  • Working with international travel sellers to raise awareness of Māori tourism products

We also work with international travel sellers to help them understand Māori culture and the variety of cultural tourism experiences on offer in New Zealand, and to support them in selling these experiences to their customers.

Tourism operators should contact the New Zealand Māori Tourism Council or their local regional tourism organisation (RTO) in the first instance to discuss opportunities to get involved in tourism marketing. Find contacts details for your local RTO.