Boost to visitor numbers thanks to region's promotion

JOHANNA CLELAND
Last updated 07:43 14/01/2014

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Information about a ferry to Dunedin, pregnancy advice and directions to the closest nudist beach are just a few of the odd requests staff at Palmerston North's i-Site field daily.

 

With more than 800 visitors through the doors on Friday alone, the information centre is only getting busier.

Manager Emily Wall said there was no limit to what sort of inquiries staff had to deal with.

Only recently one staff member was faced with an awkward question from a man who came in and said: "My girlfriend's pregnant, what do I do?"

One couple asked where they could find a stripper, while others have sought directions to a nearby nudist beach and inquired about where to buy ferry tickets to Dunedin.

They also received requests from visitors wanting somewhere to wash dishes, clothes and themselves.

Miss Wall said German tourists were the most common international visitors.

"The Germans mainly like to do the adventure stuff, so they like to do the hiking and they love the gorge."

Other popular attractions for visitors were the Coach House Museum in Feilding and the Rugby Museum in Palmerston North, as well as shopping.

Miss Wall said the visitor boost was due to tourism promotion of the region.

"We are definitely getting busier and seeing a lot more locals and domestic visitors into the i-Site, which is great," she said.

"It's a good mix between Tourism NZ helping the international visitors come though, and also Destination Manawatu helping the domestic and the locals come through the doors as well."

First-time visitors to New Zealand, English couple John and Mary Carnall stopped in Palmerston North for two nights on their way to Wellington.

The couple were travelling around the country in a motorhome.

They went to the Esplanade concert on Sunday and Mr Carnall said it had been nice to see people using the park.

They also went for a walk around the city but said it was a bit quiet due to it being Sunday.

Many visitors were coming to town for events and staying an extra night once they found out about the activities the region had to offer.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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