28 Jul 2014

Tourism NZ takes drones to the slopes

11:54 am on 28 July 2014

Tourism New Zealand is to start using technology more associated with warzones in an effort to promote the country.

It's offering to take pictures and videos of holidaymakers using a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle, initially at the South Island ski fields.

Tourism NZ has come up with a novel way to take photos in South Island hotspots.

Tourism NZ has come up with a novel way to take photos in South Island hotspots. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said "dronies", which are selfies taken using a drone, would give visitors a chance to capture their holiday moments in an unusual way.

He said professional operators would control the drones with the images offered free to consenting tourists who could upload them to social media.

If the flying cameras were successful they would be used in other tourism hotspots, after the initial two-month South Island campaign.

Drone demand "avalanche"

Drones are becoming big business with ordinary people spending thousands to get their hands on one.

Aeronavics director Linda Bulk told Morning Report that her drone supply company has expanded from the media industry to mining, asset inspections and agriculture.

Civil Aviation Authority Manager of Special Flight Operations Rex Kenny said the agency was working on new rules to manage the proliferation of drones.

"It's a worldwide situation at the moment. These things have come like an avalanche from nowhere," he said.

"There are lots of activities that they can undertake totally safely but we just have to make sure that the ones that are perhaps outside that arena are handled more carefully."