Niche Tourism Case Study
Given the diverse nature of niche tourism, different approaches may be employed such as: a product related approach that emphasizes the presence of activities, attractions, settlements, food and other amenities. The key parts of the niche tourism is that it is shaped in accordance with specific tourists needs and wants, attention is placed on the relations between demand and supply, as it looks at what specialty activities the tourists are seeking in order to have a satisfactory holiday experience.
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Niche tourism will benefit the industry in the following three ways: Firstly, there will be more arrivals; since the industry has accessed specific target markets, it will be possible to bring tourists at critical times of the year when the special interest is peaking, such as during an iron man competition. Secondly, the industry will be able to create and activate niche sectors in order to bring along more visitors during low season periods, which would affect the prosperity, employment and stability in the industry and the social environment of the destination.
Finally, niche tourism allows a destination to change the way they have been perceived by visitors. Niche tourism allows the industry to change old or incorrect perceptions about national identity, quality and capability. (Mendiratta, A. 2011) This new segmentation of the market brought with it a new kind of tourist that is more participative, not only a spectator. The New Tourist is usually informed, educated, and knows clearly what he or she wants from their travels.
For them the optimization of time and money is important and they prepare for their trip by researching their destination through the internet and the experiences of friends and others travelers. In Tourism, Poon (1993) has written about the changes in consumer’s behavior and identifies which are the critical driving forces for the new tourism. The new tourist is experienced, more flexible, independent, quality conscious and harder to please. The new Tourism is emerging, sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible, and characterized by flexibility and choice.
Jafar Jafari created a model platform to identify the status of tourism from the 1980’s. The Adaptancy platform promoted less mass tourism and more alternative tourism which includes stays at home, villages, culture and volunteer tourism and during the 90’s promoted based knowledge – based platform, that is planning for specific destinations and tourist activities which attempt to determine scientifically the impact and capacities for tourism destinations (Jafari, J. 1999), to which the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua fully complies.
POLYNESIAN SPA Polynesian Spa operated by the Lobb family since 1972, has been described as a major international resort in New Zealand with a unique thermal spa experience and an exceptional view of Lake Rotorua. The features that have become famous in the tourism market for both domestic and international tourists, will be divided in three aspects that have been developed mainly through the Polynesian Spa at age 40 with their new owners. These are: 1. – Recreational Market:
The Polynesian Spa has developed a recreation area where the family can participate in their facilities, creating an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. There are 3 swimming pools close to each other: a large freshwater chlorinated pool (33 degrees Celsius) for the smallest children and 2 alkaline pools (37 and 40 degrees Celsius) (De Jong,2011) This area is constantly monitored by a lifeguard, and while parents enjoy a moment of relaxation in the thermal water, they can still supervise their children that enjoy the freshwater pool that includes a slide.
There are storage tubs available or paid-lockers for safe keeping of possessions whilst bathing. The Hot Springs Cafe offers healthy light cuisine, free Wi-Fi, great coffee and has a delightful outdoor courtyard for the whole family to enjoy. Children enjoy ice cream, soft drinks and muffins mostly, and there even are baby meals available. (Polynesian Spa, 2012). Polynesian Spa is involved with the community. Rotorua residents, New Zealanders residents and travelers from around the world visit the hot pools.
Locals get special prices once a week and there are special rates for them all year round. The vast majority of international visitors from Asia, especially China, comes for therapy spa bath, relaxing massages and seeking recreation. The Adults pools and Priest Spa area offer seven hot mineral spring pools with views of Lake Rotorua. Spacious changing rooms are provided for the visitors (S. De Jong, personal communication, March 8, 2012). Nowadays the Asians and domestic tourists seek luxury and privacy products. Polynesian Spa has responded to that demand by opening in 2007 private pools.
There are 13 hot mineral pools rock, four deluxe private pools offering panoramic views and nine private pools that provide quiet isolation. The Spa Essentials store provides Spa accessories such as swimwear, baby clothing and goggles for children, there are also many souvenirs that tourists want to take as remembrance of their experience at the spa.
Its effects are generally enhanced by the value of landscape and climate Social Mkt (2009, Oct 29). 3. – Eco- Tourism Ecotourism involves visiting natural areas with the objectives of learning, studying or participating in activities that do not bring negative effects to the environment; whilst protecting and empowering the local community socially and economically (Ecotourism Resource Centre, 2007) A key element of the Polynesian Spa brand is to always look at ways to do things more sustainably and recently the business has found a more environmentally sustainable method called Eco- Friendly Filtration.
They filter its fresh water pool (Family Spa) using a new natural system called Perlite, that replaced a product called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Managing Director Martin Loob said “the introduction of Perlite to replace DE has been a successful step for Polynesian Spa’s sustainability journey” (Rotorua sustainable, 2012, Mar 2). The geothermal steams are captured and reused in the buildings and under floor heating; hot water from the pools is reused in the laundry and showers.
These efforts have been recognized as high standards in environmental practices and Polynesian Spa has gained a Qualmark Enviro Gold Award. Polynesian Spa has retained the original features inherited from 1930, and in addition they have demonstrated professionalism in using energy efficiency, waste management and water conservation. Their community activities and conservation initiatives have gained this site the Qualmark’s environmental criteria.