93 94 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 Waitaki sports its own balanced economy, the New Zealand shut down of international tourism during lockdown did have an effect. Following lockdown, however, Munro reports that Tourism Waitaki is stronger than ever. “Things basically bottomed out for us for three or four months, until we started to see an increase in domestic tourism. We took that and ran with it, investing heavily into promoting the Waitaki district to all parts of the Country, and since then we have essentially become one of the good-news stories in tourism trends; we have actually been stronger in domestic visitors since COVID. That is a wonderful testament to the investment made into marketing and the number of New Zealanders that have made the effort to go and see what’s in their backyard.” Tourism Waitaki are blessed to showcase a region as diverse and inclusive as Waitaki District. Looking to the future, they plan to continue rallying for the successful accreditation of the Geopark by UNESCO and are excited to support regenerative, environmentally sustainable solutions for tourism, events, and other industries such as farming, business, and manufacturing throughout the region. TOUR I SM WA I TAK I – WA I TAK I DI STR I CT PREFERRED VENDORS/PARTNERS n Riverstone Kitchen www.riverstonekitchen.co.nz Riverstone Kitchen is an award-winning restaurant nestled in the spectacular Waitaki Valley countryside, just north of Oamaru. Bevan Smith opened Riverstone Kitchen in 2006 and is now, one of the country’s most recognised chefs. He has gained a reputation for delicious food, simply prepared from local, seasonal ingredients.