WITI chair Christina Hyde says tourism will play a vital role in how Waiheke bounces back from Covid’s economic hit. Photo Merrie Hewetson

Hot on the heels of Project Forever Waiheke’s tourism report titled Waiheke is a community not a commodity comes Waiheke Island Tourism Inc’s response to the findings.

WITI had collaborated with the authors of the report over the pivotal visitor satisfaction and tourism business surveys. And, predictably enough, the organisation’s interpretation of the responses is somewhat different to PFW’s focus on overtourism and “a strong sentiment among the Waiheke community that the island cannot sustain pre-pandemic tourism volumes without serious degradation to the island’s community and natural environments”.

Instead, WITI chair Christina Hyde said the organisation was “excited and heartened” by visitors’ responses which “showed a clear love for Waiheke and the impact visitors can play in the island’s economic bounce back post lockdown. The survey shows Waiheke still delivers a premium tourism experience and is something the community should be proud of”.

One of the four key findings WITI highlights is financial: 75 percent of visitors dined out, the same number spent more than $200 here and 23 percent spent more than $1000 “showing what an important part they play in Waiheke’s visitor economy”. •James Belfield

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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