We are most likely grounded for the rest of 2020 with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern only committing to a time frame for our country’s locked down borders of “quite some time” or “until there is a vaccine” and according to some experts that could be 18 months away!
Health experts have supported our government’s early, decisive action and have even indicated we may get our COVID-19 crisis under control before most of the world. However, we will almost certainly remain isolated. If we do end up in a country-wide bubble, will our accommodation industry stay on ice?
In some ways, it presents unique opportunities for local tourism: picture a scenario where New Zealanders are released from their safe but boring homes and burst out keener than ever to explore their own country, supporting the local economy! There is certainly hope for growth and success. Particularly if the government, later on, decides to incentivise staycations and local tourism as an economic investment. It will be a unique period in history for NZ-owned and operated accom businesses no longer competing with international travel operators.
Think of ways to get New Zealanders excited about the abundance of wonderful leisure trips, holidays, stay-cations, and magnificent destinations that are on their doorstep or slightly further afield. Perhaps more cities and locations around New Zealand will put together creative initiatives like the one Wellington just introduced; it has become a “gamified city” to engage NZ travellers and ease their itchy feet with a taste of what freedom will be like…
The hard hit and well and truly C-19 locked down city of Wellington came up with an ingenious idea – a range of virtual reality and 360 experiences featuring local businesses and attractions that potential visitors can enjoy from their own armchair. Players of the Welltown VR game explore Wellington’s coolest streets, swim with whales in the pristine harbour and get a fun taste of this vibrant destination, then hopefully they will put it on their list of places to visit post-covid-19. It might just prompt families to head over to Wellington once lockdown subsides.