Episode 1 - Tourism
About the show
In this episode, we take a look back at how New Zealand tourism came to be, with focus on how Māori entrepreneurs quickly realised the wonders of our geothermal areas – especially the dazzling beauty of the Pink and White terraces at Rotomahana. For years hapū ran effective businesses, guiding visitors to our natural beauty spots.
However, as Europeans arrived to settle, the government took steps to control and protect these places. In doing so, they created the world’s first Tourism Department – which came up with novel publicity campaigns, such as sending thousands of postcards overseas to entice new travellers to our shores. More inspired publicity stunts followed, with the invitation of renowned American author-turned-game fisher, Zane Grey, to the Bay of Islands.
Although, as war and depression took its toll, in the 1950s the industry desperately needed a boost. It got it from the Tourist Hotel Corporation, whose staff were able to revolutionise service and set Kiwi hospitality on a new path. Ski-planes, jetboating, bungy-jumping, and even Lord of the Rings followed, and the affable and adventurous hosts never looked back.