Destination and Visitor Management (Tourism) | Te Ahumahi Tāpoi

Destination and Visitor Management currently in Whaingaroa

The Destination and Visitor Management group recognizes the importance to respect local culture and protect the environment. We aim to give priority to local interests and work to achieve a positive and enjoyable experience for visitors. The group will strive to meet the interests of locals and encourage them to be involved in the decision making process.

Why do people want to visit us?

… just look around! With picture perfect sunsets (and sunrises) almost year-round and laid-back vibes, Whaingaroa Raglan is hard to beat.

Raglan offers pristine surf, mountain trails, epic views and a unique opportunity to connect and care for the environment.


Visitors don’t want Raglan to change. There is a connection to Raglan that many feel their own home has lost.

Source:  2017 UNWTO Assessments of Raglan

The 2017 Raglan Visitor Infrastructure Study (WDC) estimates that Raglan sees around 22,000 visitors each weekend over the November-April ‘summer’ period.

The report projected growth in the source populations for visitors from Auckland and Hamilton, and for International tourists arriving at Auckland Airport will be expected to increase tourist numbers in Raglan, at a higher rate of increase than expected growth in the local residential population.

Source: 2017 Raglan Visitor Infrastructure Study

Destination & Visitor Management in the Waikato and Aotearoa

Tourism New Zealand has ceased advertising NZ from late December to early March to avoid over-crowding around the country.

Source:  2017 UNWTO Assessments of Raglan

The International visitor arrivals to NZ: March 2018 report showed an increase of 276K of annual visitors to NZ, a year-end number of 3,819,817 visitors.

Source: International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand: March 2018

Whaingaroa Raglan is touted as ‘the jewel of the Waikato’ and is actively promoted by *Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, Tourism NZ and others.

Because Raglan is home to some of the best surf in Aotearoa, entities like Surfing New Zealand also occasionally promote Raglan when surf contests are held at Manu Bay.

Raglan has been featured in commercials for Air New Zealand and there was a recent spread on Raglan printed in KiaOra Magazine (August 2018), which is Air New Zealand’s in-flight magazine. These specific features were coordinated by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.

Source: KiaOra Magazine, Air New Zealand Inflight Magazine, August 2018

The Raglan Chamber of Commerce works closely with Hamilton & Waikato Tourism to ensure they understand our community values, and that they are aware of on-going community projects such as Plastic Bag Free Raglan and Xtreme Zero Wastes new compost programme and other environmental initiatives, as these community projects also affect visitors. The Chamber places a ‘Raglan Naturally’ advert in the Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Visitor Guide each year.
Source: Hamilton & Waikato Visitor Guide 2018

(*Hamilton & Waikato Tourism focuses on increasing domestic and international visitor numbers, length of stay and expenditure in the Waikato region by creating and coordinating effective marketing and promotional activity. They encourage visitors to enjoy the many great experiences our region has to offer and in turn contribute valuable economic, social and cultural benefits to our communities.)

What topics were covered and who has been involved so far:

We appreciate all the work of the Focus Group members

Please note: this Snapshot report is a starting point for community-wide input and is not a finished or complete report. Your input will build on this report.

Topics Covered:

  • Destination and Visitor Management
  • Identifying and mitigating visitor impacts on the environment, on local people, and on the amenity value or lifestyle value of full-time residents
  • Managing visitor numbers
  • Delivering quality experiences
  • Coping capacity and the impacts on our infrastructure
  • More controlled visitor growth
  • Clarifying the markets we are promoting and encouraging
  • Communicating our community values and expectations to visitors
  • Creating a cohesive “look and feel” (the message)

Who is contributing to this Snapshot

Karamea Puriri, Daniel Kereopa, Renee Davenport, Charlie Young, Gareth Jones, Phil McCabe, Stephen Reid, Brian Ruawai, Tim Duff

  • The community at large
  • Whaingaroa Raglan Destination Management Organisation
  • Waikato District Council
  • Raglan i-Site
  • Raglan Chamber of Commerce
  • Xtreme Zero Waste
  • Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Whaingaroa Environment Centre    


Destination Management Strengths & Assets

  • Lack of commercialisation
  • Environmentally aware tourism business operators
  • An underdeveloped, more natural environment
  • Strong connectivity and positive relationships
  • An open-minded community
  • Diverse people

Future Challenges & Opportunities

Key challenges that are specific to Destination & Visitor Management:

  • Upholding the ‘Whaingaroa Raglan Kaupapa’:
  • Businesses who choose to brand themselves using the name ‘Raglan’ in their business name, should uphold the Raglan kaupapa when operating within the community and when promoting their product outside of the community. Taking into consideration the people, the land, etc. This will give us an opportunity to work more closely with hapu/kamātua…
  • Encouraging positive visitor behaviours (i.e. disposing of waste in the correct bins, encouraging the BringYourOwn culture).
  • Opportunity to develop more culturally connected experiences for visitors, implementing more te reo Māori signage throughout the community.
  • Determining how our community is being promoted by supporting initiatives such as the Whaingaroa Raglan Destination Management Organisation to action the ‘Destination and Visitor Management’ section of Raglan Naturally.
  • Employment Opportunities:
    • Creating seasonal employment for locals, including youth.
  • Tourism training programs can be established to help locals build capacity and skills to help interact with visitors.
  • Highlighting Heritage Trails and utilising harbour cruises to showcase the beauty of our natural environment.
  • Work with WDC to develop bike pathways and walkways
  • Rise in number of AirBNB/holiday homes taking away permanent homes for long-term residents.
  • Managing the Promotion/Marketing of our town:
    • Communicating to visitors in regards to ‘how to visit Raglan’ e.g., taking a reusable shopping bag to the shops, composting food waste, what to flush, etc.
    • Uncontrolled promotion due to social media.
  • Visitors taking seasonal employment and potential long-term homes.
  • Ongoing impacts on infrastructure.
  • Lack of parking around town and at beaches and surf breaks.
  • Limited services (i.e. police, ambulance, bank services).
  • Rise in visitor numbers – Rise in population – Rise in crime.
  • Seasonality impacts on labour force availability.
  • We are a ‘one-way’ destination.
  • Inconsistent visitor experience across the board / Inconsistent customer service across the board.

For the key challenges that need to be considered across all focus areas, these are the questions we are asking:


  • How does this challenge impact on on Destination & Visitor Management?
  • How does on Destination & Visitor Management impact this challenge?


  •  What is the opportunity for us in on Destination & Visitor Management in relation to this challenge?

The key challenges: (Please note that some of these sections are still to be completed.)

Climate change




Growth in visitor numbers


Implementing the Treaty of Waitangi




Aspirations & Goals Identified by the Focus Groups with supporting projects, strategies and initiatives.  
(Please note that there may be areas that are still to be completed.)

Values behind the goals & aspirations Aspirations & Goals
measurable, specific, achievable
Different ways goals can be achieved
Projects & Initiatives
Specific actions, responsibility, funding
with other Focus Areas
“Within ten years, we will be widely recognised as the eco-friendly heart of New Zealand, and a leading example of responsible and sustainable tourism”.
Source: Destination Action Plan – Raglan. Version 3.0 – 16 November 2016
Developing connectivity for people to be able to walk or ride between town locations. Ensuring a range of authentic experiences that showcase our people, our landscape, our stories, our history, our place. Retaining the character of the town, known for good times, a great vibe and a happy place to relax and create memories. Implement eco-friendly practices and policies across all operators and the community. Community Wellbeing, Business, Environment
Establishing the ‘Raglan Kaupapa’ Businesses who choose to brand themselves using the name ‘Raglan’ in their business name, should uphold the Raglan kaupapa when operating within the community and when promoting their product outside of the community. Taking into consideration the people, the land, etc. This will give us an opportunity to work more closely with hapu/kamātua… Working with the Business Group to communicate RN Values and ensure businesses understand them.
Develop a ‘Raglan Customer Charter’ that underpins exceptional customer service to all customers regardless of business Working with the Business Group and Chamber to develop customer service training programs
Encouraging shoulder season events that can support businesses through the winter months
Supporting ‘sustainable’ visitor experiences Pin-point what educational visitor experiences are currently available. Develop a further sense of localism, i.e. such as local produce… is it being used in cafes, sold in shops, is that information being shared that it’s locally grown? Working with the Environmental group
Creating a cohesive marketing message that is focused around sustainable tourism. A ‘how-to visit Raglan’ type of guide. Working alongside the Environmental FB, as well as Xtreme Zero Waste, Whaingaroa Environment Centre and tourism business operators.

Questions from Destination & Visitor Management

  1. What’s missing in our Snapshot?

©2022 Raglan Naturally


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