The Holiday Parks Association of New Zealand (HAPNZ) conference and Trade Exhibition at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua, attracted a record 103 Holiday parks and 340 delegates.
The HAPNZ Conference was opened by Tamaki Maori Experience telling the story of the Realm of Tane, which gives an overview of the history of Maori in New Zealand. GoSee found this quite a moving experience.
HAPNZ President Richard Gunson welcomed delegates and guests to a conference with the Theme of Delivering Opportunities.
The HAPNZ president emphasised the advantage of the opportunities available to Holiday Parks to improve their marketing dollar including Park Management Systems and Real Time booking. He encourage attendees to take advantage of the many trade exhibitions that are at conference who can help them realize these opportunites within their own Holiday Parks.
Russel Norman, co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand spoke about the great Kiwi Holiday, camping at the river or beach, dive bombing into crisp clear water and then retiring to the camp for cold drinks and barbecue.
Holiday Parks are a integral part of keeping this dream holiday alive and providing a tangible taste of the authentic kiwi holiday, he said.
The camping holiday is where you meet people you wouldnt meet in normal day-to-day life. The guy who wears overalls to work camps next door to the guy who wears an suit and tie to work and lifelong friendships develop around the summer camping holiday building sense of community across New Zealand.
New Zealand needs a cohesive strategy that builds on the clean green image. 100 per cent Pure isnt 100 per cent accurate, but tourists will forgive the areas that dont meet that expectation provided we identify and address the areas of concern, rather than try and hide them away, he said. Holiday parks play an important part in this with tourist becoming more eco-savvy and wanting more options.
Challenges to the 100 per cent Pure image are possible of mining Conservation areas, waterways under threat and coastal development.
Research shows that tourists who stay in holiday parks stay longer in NZ and this is better for offsetting carbon credits.
National Government has recently devoted $30mill toward high value visitors. He questioned if this money was going to the right sector as research shows that independent travelers spend more money and stay longer than the (accepted) high value tourist.
Manaakitanga and Kaitiakitanga play an important role in our tourism experience and contribute towards our clean green image, he said.
We need to encourage business to work with the environment not against it and reward business that achieves this, Russel Norman said.
Dr Russel Norman has been involved with politics all of his adult life, working as a policy researcher, assistant to Green Members of Parliament, campaign manager for the Green Party, Co-Leader outside Parliament and most recently as a Green MP since mid-2008. He says that his academic background - he has a doctorate in politics - gives him an analytical approach, which is helpful.
Christchurch Family Park wins Hospitality Award
Winners of this year's HAPNZ awards were announced at the annual conference in Rotorua last week, and Family Parks had a lot to be proud of.
Steve Julie Fraser from North South Holiday Park in Christchurch, won the prestigious AA Spirit of Hospitality Award.
This award recognises excellence in customer service and reflects the importance that the holiday park sector places on 'Manaakitanga' and providing only the best for their guests.
Family Parks finalists included - Dave and Kay Roche from Bowentown Beach Holiday Park, Grant and Sheree Webster from Hot Water Beach Holiday Park, and Chris and Barbara Faulls from Smiths Farm Holiday Park. Of the six finalists in this category, four were Family Parks.
Adrian and Linda Pine from Fox Glacier Holiday Park, took home the Jasons SMART Business Award. This award recognises the effort that Linda and Adrian have put into developing the range of walking products in their area, encouraging their visitors to stay longer.
Overall, the conference was a huge success, and it is fantastic to see the hard work and dedication of our park members being recognised, Family Parks Acting CEO Robyne Wilson said today.