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Kiwis urged to ‘travel local’

In light of the travel restrictions announced on Saturday, the New Zealand Government and economists are urging citizens to holiday domestically.

Several Tauranga tourism businesses are helping Kiwis rise to the challenge, offering a 10 per cent Kiwis-only discount on premium tourism experiences to rival those found in Europe and America.

The travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, announced by Jacinda Ardern at Saturday’s press conference, will require anyone arriving in New Zealand to self-quarantine for 14 days. Jacinda urged people to cancel any unnecessary travel outside of New Zealand, and instead explore our own backyard.

There have been some concerns over how the move will affect tourism, which is the country’s largest export industry employing over 220,000 people. However, industry members remain hopeful that domestic travel will help lessen the economic impact.

“Fourteen days is the length of a lot of people’s time off, so we expect to lose a lot of our international market," says wwner of Waimarino Adventure Park and Kayak Tours in Tauranga Blair Anderson .

“We are counting on Kiwi’s to get out on tours to help keep the tourism industry alive.”

With many New Zealanders having to cancel their overseas holiday plans due to the global outbreak, the call is being made for people to repurpose their funds and time off to see some of the wonders that home has to offer.

“Our doors are open and there are incredible experiences to be had within easy reach of your home.

"Seeing the light of glow-worms bouncing off the water on a beautiful lake is just as rewarding as what you’d planned overseas,” says Blair.

Fellow Tauranga tourism operator Jay Thomas of 7 Deadly Sins agrees.

“There are plenty of bucket list attractions right here in New Zealand. In Tauranga alone you can start the day driving a Ferrari and Lamborghini around some stunning roads, then two hours later you can be flying in a helicopter, watching dolphins, or riding the waves at Mount Maunganui.”

Waimarino Kayak Tours and Adventure Park, 7 Deadly Sins, Skydive Tauranga, Bay Explorer, River Bug NZ, Adrenalin Forest Tauranga, Aerius Helicopters and Day Trippers are giving Kiwis a 10 per cent discount on their tours, with more operators expected to follow suit.

To claim your discount you simply need to book before March 31 on the company’s websites using the code TRAVELLOCAL.

When asked if engaging in tours and activities would increase peoples risk Blair says: “As a community, we are constantly increasing our standard of delivery to ensure it is done in a safe way designed to minimize the spread of the virus.

"By getting to Tauranga and putting money into local tourism businesses you are saving jobs and bolstering our economy, but you’ll also have a bloody good holiday.”

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