Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i-SITE Visitor Centre to Launch On Board Interislander Ferry

Travellers will soon be able to make holiday plans and bookings on the Interislander’s Kaitaki ferry, with a new satellite i-SITE planned to open on the vessel in March.

The new initiative means over 400,000 travellers per year - 40% international visitors - will have the opportunity to make accommodation and activity bookings and seek expert advice while crossing the Cook Strait on Interislander’s largest ferry.

“We see this as an excellent way to expand the passenger services available on board,” comments Thomas Davis, Interislander’s General Manager. “The established network and resources makes i-SITE an ideal partner for Interislander, two iconic travel industry brands.”

The Kaitaki i-SITE will be run as a joint venture between Positively Wellington Tourism and Destination Marlborough. The centre – scheduled to open on March 15 – will be managed out of Wellington and be open on the vessel daily from 7.45am-4.35pm.

Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says the centre will focus on selling accommodation and activities in the two gateway regions, while also helping visitors plan travels further afield.

“This is going to be a fantastic service for Kaitaki passengers, at the same time giving us the opportunity to make sure they know how much there is to do in Wellington and Marlborough; and that they stick around and do it,” Mr Perks says.

“The timing couldn’t be better to expand our consumer arm, providing even more services to visitors and delivering more business to our operators. With the Wellington On a Plate festival evolving this year and Rugby World Cup next year we’re expecting to see a lot more traffic into the region; having an i-SITE on the Kaitaki means we can help those visitors make the most of their time here.”

Destination Marlborough General Manager Tracy Johnston is thrilled visitors will have access to great information and advice when heading into the region.

“Having i-SITE staff onboard who know Marlborough well and can tell travellers what they can see and do is going to be great for us. Many visitors get their first impression of the region as they cruise through the Marlborough Sounds, now they will have access to information and a booking service to inspire them to spend quality time here before heading south.”

Provision of an on-board service is a new and exciting departure for the country’s official visitor information network, says i-SITE Executive Manager David Wilks.

“The Interislander i-SITE Visitor Centre will bring our 90th centre. It will be a great boost for the i-SITE network and a great resource for visitors planning the next leg of their trip.”

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