Whitianga and Whangamata become Motorhome Friendly Towns
Above: Paul Kelly (Mercury Bay Community Board), Mayor Sandra and NZMCA Whitianga representative Rod Perry at the official welcoming of Whitianga to the Motorhome Friendly Scheme.
Whangamata and Whitianga have been officially welcomed into the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association's Motorhome Friendly scheme, leading into the peak summer season.
The two towns join more than 40 other towns from around New Zealand in the scheme, including Coromandel Town, which joined the scheme in March this year.
Along with the two NZMCA parks in the area (NZMCA-owned property in Coromandel township and a newly opened leased property in Whitianga) they are a positive reflection of the association’s drive to share the benefits of motorhome tourism, without adding extra strain to local facilities or heaping extra costs on local ratepayers.
“Our members enjoy this very special part of New Zealand and travelling here in Certified Self-Contained vehicles, and staying (when possible) in our own parks will take pressure off local facilities while still bringing motorhome tourism dollars into the area,” says NZMCA CEO Bruce Lochore.
“In saying that, it’s important to stress that all this is being done at no cost to local ratepayers. The establishment of the parks and the promotion of the Motorhome Friendly towns is funded entirely by the NZMCA.
“The result is a win/win for everyone,” he says. “For Whitianga and Whangamata, official recognition as Motorhome Friendly will encourage more of our members and international visitors to stop, stay and spend. And for motorhomers, the towns’ status as Motorhome Friendly is a clear indication that they can expect a warm welcome.”
Mr Lochore explains that the Motorhome Friendly status offers significant economic benefits to participating communities.
“At a time when tourism in this country is enjoying an unprecedented boom, I believe it is vital that the benefits are not confined to the traditional tourist ‘hotspots’ but are shared with councils and communities nationwide,” he says.
“Our aim in establishing the scheme was to help rural and provincial communities throughout New Zealand get a fair share of tourist spending."
“That’s why the NZMCA has invested close on a million dollars and committed significant resources over the past three years to encourage our members – and other motorhome tourists – to get off the beaten track in their travels."
Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says our Council's positive relationship with the NZMCA has been paying dividends.
"We're extremely pleased to see our partnership with the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association going from strength to strength over the past few years," says Mayor Sandra.
"We thank NZMCA for investing in our District through initiatives like the Motorhome Friendly scheme, but also the fact that many of their members get involved in our local community projects like dune planting and beach clean-up days while they are visiting," says Mayor Sandra.
"The thing is that we all enjoy the Coromandel for the same reasons and so we're all in it together to make sure we keep the Coromandel beautiful," says Mayor Sandra.
Promotion of the Motorhome Friendly towns to the NZMCA’s 69,000 individual members is free to the locations.
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