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i-SITE and DOC visitor centres talk collaboration

The i-SITE Visitor Information Network and Department of Conservation (DOC) have met to discuss how the visitor experience can be improved through a more cohesive service.

The workshop was held in Auckland, with the focus on enabling the co-located i-SITE and DOC visitor centres to work together better, highlighting opportunities through sales, training, and technology.

The two visitor centre networks are seeking greater collaboration, which in recent years has seen four of these centres in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Ruapehu co-locate to present a single experience for visitors.

“The more we can integrate our services into one dual branded location with staff trained to handle any type of question, the better experience we can give our visitors and encourage them to see more and stay longer while in New Zealand,” says i-SITE Executive Manager, Paul Yeo.

“It also ensures we give our visitors accurate, timely and consistent information about visiting New Zealand so they are well-prepared before venturing into territory that may be unfamiliar to them.”

There are almost 100 visitor centres across New Zealand. Around 80 of these are i-SITE Visitor Centres, a subsidiary of Tourism New Zealand, while 15 are dedicated DOC Visitor Centres staffed by DOC rangers.

“The DOC/i-SITE workshop was hugely beneficial to review the experiences of the current relationship between the co-located sites, and also identify opportunities to further enhancing the partnership, with a focus on the overall visitor experience,” says DOC Customer and Brand Manager, Sarah Wood.

Mr Yeo says he’d like to see even more i-SITE and DOC visitor centres co-locating in the future.

“More seamless visitor information services are only going to benefit our visitors and provide an even better visitor experience – which we hope they’ll tell their friends and family about.

“I’d like to see more co-locations in places where we both currently have separate offices, particularly in major urban centres. I’d also like to see more i-SITE satellites established in DOC Visitor Centres that service our national parks.”

In 2017, more than 7.3 million people visited an i-SITE Visitor Centre. Approximately 45 percent of all international visitors will visit at least one i-SITE Visitor Centre during their time in New Zealand.

To find out more about the i-SITE and DoC visitor centres, visit www.tourismnewzealand.com/isite or www.doc.govt.nz/visitorcentres.