Fiordland has come up with an initiative encouraging locals to invite their friends and family into town, just in time for the September school holidays.
Businesses have jumped at the opportunity to be part of ‘Host A Holiday’, providing locals with something free-of-charge if they bring full paying out-of-towners to their business.
Te Anau owner-operator Christine Wallace from Fiordland Outdoors Company, says getting locals out to experience what Fiordland has to offer, and bring all their friends, is a real win for businesses.
“Word of mouth can be very powerful and we’ve got a lot to see and do in Fiordland, still at a really affordable price.”
Christine’s business, which provides guided tours in Fiordland including water transport for the Milford and Kepler tracks, is one of 17 businesses taking part in the initiative including fellow tourism operators, restaurants, cafes, accommodation providers and even the local cinema.
“We want this community to get back on its feet and help itself. If we all work together it’s amazing what we can do, especially given what we’ve been through.
“We’ve got to keep coming up with these unique ideas because we’re in competition with every corner of New Zealand at the moment and we’re putting up our hand and saying ‘here, pick Fiordland for your next holiday’.”
Christine hopes the initiative will have a flow on effect following the school holidays, providing an opportunity to bring old friends and family together in Fiordland all year round.
As a town which relies heavily on tourism, Fiordland has taken a big hit, first with the floods in February this year followed by Covid-19.
Destination Fiordland General Manager Madeleine Peacock says she’s confident the initiative will give this resilient area another boost.
“It’s all about getting in behind our hometowns, we know why Te Anau Fiordland are special. There’s never been a better time for locals to get out and about in their own backyards and we’re asking them to encourage friends from all around New Zealand to get down here while they can have the place to themselves!
“The scenery, the activities, our great food and accommodation and superb locals welcome have never changed, but with borders still closed there’s never been a better time to explore.
“Bring Mum, Dad, the kids and grandparents, we promise they’ll have a superb time.”
Although locals are being invited to ‘host’ their friends and family, it doesn’t mean they have to stay with them. Visitors are being encouraged to stay with local accommodation providers while in the area.
Locals taking part need to provide proof of residence within the Te Anau Basin, Manapouri or Milford Sound regions and are also being asked to write a review, blog or social media post about the business, to help keep the momentum going.
Business providers include Sandfly Café, Fiordland Outdoors Co, Real Journeys, Cruise Milford, Fiordland Jet, Southern Lakes Helicopters, Habit Foods – Bao Now, Southern Discoveries, Fiordland Cinema, Trips and Tramps, Fiordland Helicopters, Redcliff Café, Faith in Fiordland, Go Orange, The Cinema Suites, Cruise Te Anau and Wings and Water – Fiordland Seaplane.