The World Indigenous Tourism Summit has been in Waitangi for the past three days.

Organisers say the tourism industry offers great economic and employment potential for indigenous peoples.

Hundreds of indigenous peoples met today in Waitangi for the final day of The World Indigenous Tourism Summit.

Chair of NZ Māori Tourism Dale Stephens says there is a noted increase in Māori tourism investment by individuals, iwi, land trusts and corporations.

“We're now in that moment where iwi is post-settlement, they have money and they want the opportunity for their rangatahi and especially in the regions, they’re looking in tourism to develop their communities, develop their youth, develop their business and take their culture to the world.”

In the last decade, there has been a 400% increase in Māori tourism development.

The chair of WINTA Ben Sherman says the potential of tourism to boost economic development for indigenous peoples is huge.

“Tourism helps these communities actually restore their cultures; if some of it has been lost they will find those lost cultures and find ways to bring them back so they can present them to the travelling public.”

Tourism makes up 7.5% of the total employment in New Zealand.

Tapeta Wehi is a new face to the tourism sector and says his aim is to take haka to the world stage.

“Me hoki au ki tētahi o ngā whakatauāki o taku kōkā a Tuini Ngawai e mea ana whiua ki te rangi, whiua ki te ao, whiua ki ngā iwi katoa kei roto i ō tātou ringaringa te rongoā.”

The next summit will take place in Australia in 2020.

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