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New-look Napier isite leads national refresh

Published: 22 November 2023

isite opening

Hamish Saxton (CEO, Hawke’s Bay Tourism), Jodi Redden (isite NZ Project Manager), Jane Libby (Manager, Napier isite Visitor Centre) at Napier’s refurbished isite.

The first large cruise ship of the season to visit Napier is perfectly timed today for passengers to take advantage of Napier’s freshly revamped isite.

The isite visitor centre has reopened after a renovation that aims to give visitors a great experience while planning their travel in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“More than 30% of visitors to New Zealand visit an isite and we are proud of the local expertise we offer travellers here in Ahuriri Napier that allows our manuhiri visitors to become explorers,” says Jane Libby, isite Manager. 

“We’re expecting 92 cruise ships this season. Our team is well placed to meet this demand, with seven languages spoken among our staff.”

Cruise visitors for the 2023/24 season are expected to spend around $35 million in Hawke’s Bay.

The new design and layout of the isite is intended to provide visitors with inspiration and allow them to make bookings or simply take away information at their leisure. The vision for the fit out was to create an inclusive and accessible environment that is comfortable and welcoming and to integrate the Tiaki promise in an engaging and tactile way to help educate manuhiri on travel in New Zealand. While acknowledging that each isite across Aotearoa is different, the team started with an over-riding concept of ‘The Gateway to Aotearoa’ but created a flexible design system that has enabled each isite to capture the flavour of their local region.

“Our people are experts on our regions and can give visitors inside information that means they can get off the beaten path to benefit our communities and a wider range of tourism businesses,” says Jane.

The isite network received $2.975m from the Government’s International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) fund to develop the brand of the isite network, upgrade the physical interior of 14 isites and to create digital assets to enhance the visitor experience.

Construction of the other isite locations will roll out over the next three years.

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