Kohutapu Lodge Model for Regenerative Tourism
New Zealand is emerging as a global leader in regenerative tourism, thanks in part to Māori tour operators such as the Bay of Plenty’s Kohutapu Lodge, Jessica Wynne Lockhart writes in a travel piece for the BBC.
First-time tourists to New Zealand often perceive Māori culture as an itinerary item to be ticked-off in an afternoon, usually in Rotorua, Lockhart writes. But an hour south-east of Rotorua in Murupara – one of the country’s most socially and economically disadvantaged communities – a family-owned business is flipping the script. At Kohutapu Lodge and Tribal Tours, tourists get far more than just dinner and a show; they get the opportunity to be immersed in a modern Māori community where there is no stage or costumes.
“We’ve always just called it ‘real people tourism’,” said Nadine Toe Toe, co-owner of Kohutapu Lodge. “If you want a show, stay in the main centres. But if you want a day in the life to understand our people, then haere mai whanau: you’re welcome to come into our home and our community.”
Original article by Jessica Wynne Lockhart, BBC, August 2, 2023.