Local tourism planning and urban design : the reinforcement of "image" at National Park township, Tongariro, National Park : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Regional Planning at Massey University
This study addresses a tourism planning problem at a small service settlement on the western border of Tongariro National Park in the Central North Island of New Zealand. The name of this settlement is National Park Township.
Over the past 10 years, National Park Township has become an increasingly important accommodation base for Tongariro National Park. The Park itself is internationally renowned for its spectacular volcanic and mountainous landscapes, and offers a variety of recreational activities. Additionally, it is easily accessible by road.
The tourism planning problem addressed by this study is related to research indicating that the physical appearance of National Park Township detracts from its overall 'image' as a desirable tourist destination. As such, it is one of many initiatives being organised by the Ruapehu District Council (formerly the Taumarunui County Council) to promote and develop the township as a tourist resort.
The subsequent overall aim of the study is to improve the image of the township through formulation of urban design suggestions relating to a new zoning may, design guidelines, and works programmes. These suggestions will seek to achieve a satisfactory visual and physical environment, and build form that harmonises with the 'unique' features of the surroundings. They will be formulated through implementation of a 'National Park Township Design Process' involving analysis of the visual elements of the township and of existing guidelines.
Implementation of the suggestions by the Ruapehu District Council will help to improve the image of National Park Township in terms of its physical appearance, both in the short and long term. This in turn will make the township a more desirable accommodation base from which to experience the many and varied recreational activities of the Ruapehu region. Ultimately, they will accrue econonic benefits to the Council and district alike.