CamperMate, an app used by independent travellers, has joined forces with Seasonal Solutions to help find staff for this season’s cherry harvest.

The App, used by more than 80% of independent travellers, is usually used to find toilets, camping grounds and other facilities. App developers are now trialling ways that they can add value to both users of the app and local communities.

The trial is being conducted over December and January in Central Otago. It will promote available roles that include on-site accommodation or camping options to reduce pressure on free campsites within the district.

Seasonal Solutions CEO Helen Axby is supportive of this development.

“Orchardists are used to employing tourists but sometimes they arrive a week too early or a week too late,” she said. “Through CamperMate we can inform people exactly when work is available.”

Adam Hutchinson, CamperMate CEO, is keen to help independent travellers contribute to the community.

“We are thrilled to be able to help the orchardists and we are also adding in opportunities for users to volunteer with community groups. Many of our app users are keen to connect with locals and we are keen to play our part to help this happen.”

Central Otago District Council Economic Development Manager Nick Lanham believes the CamperMate worker initiative is a step towards changing how we perceive tourists.

“Visitor spend is important but we should recognise the other value that visitors can offer. Volunteering and seasonal work is the first step, but I see potential to connect with and attract tourists to become skilled migrants, international students or investors in our region.”