Helping Tararua’s tourism grow and thrive is the key to a networking group which has had four meetings so far. But organisers would love more people to attend the events, Carole Wilton, manager of the Tararua i-SITE in Woodville, says.
"The aim of the Tararua Tourism Networking Group is to keep operators updated and to provide opportunities to share information," she says.
The four meetings have been held at Pukaha Mt Bruce, the New Zealand Natural Clothing Company in Norsewood, Tui Brewery HQ at Mangatainoka and the most recent at the iSite in Woodville.
"These meetings create awareness and help us to learn more about each other," Carole says.
The host businesses profile themselves and there is also a guest speaker.
The guest speaker at the Woodville iSite was Joy Barnes, co-owner of the very successful Ormond Street Motel in the town.
"I believe Joy typifies a star," Carole says. "She and Mike have a business they have put their heart and soul into and Joy talked about great customer service and gaining repeat business."
For Joy, customer service at the Ormond Street Motel is all about old-fashioned values and 100 per cent respect for people.
"I think we’ve created a bit of a home away from home here and we get so much repeat business, even from overseas tourists," she says.
Reflecting that great customer service has seen the business receive four certificates of excellence from TripAdvisor in four years.
For more information, please contact Tararua District Council’s Communications Team by emailing [email protected] or call 06 374 4080
"That’s huge and is gauged on how people rate you," a delighted Joy says. "Yes, this business is 24/7 but it’s so rewarding and I love it."
Joy says guests at the motel also result in a win-win for other local businesses. The next meeting of the Tararua Tourism Networking Group will be held in November at the Dannevirke Fantasy Cave at a date to be decided and new members are encouraged to attend. The group’s Christmas party will be held at the Masters Hall in Pahiatua in December.