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Reply To: We are a small camping ground and farmstay business on the Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough. We have no road access and therefore doing anything is quite complex and usually physically quite difficult. We will be the last cab off the rank with getting going I suspect because we have nothing to do with essential services. The competition for domestic tourism will be fierce and there will be big players with lots of knowledge and skills competing for the NZ domestic tourists. We, Graham and I (58 and 61 years old), have grown the camping ground, added farmstay and cabins from a less than $10,000. business to a $65,000 business in 4 years. We are still small, don’t really fit into any association that will represent us clearly but need to fight with the bigger tourism operators for business in this coming season. We need to talk through social media, marketing electronically and how to target specific markets with someone who is able to explain it so that we can understand. We largely direct market. Booking agencies etc don’t work well out here. We cannot fill cancelled bookings if within a month of visit because we are remote and part of a bigger QCT experience. Their refund policies leave us in a hole.

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I go tramping every year with a group of friends, and the Queen Charlotte is on our list for next year! We are just hoping for relaxed travel restrictions and kids back at school so we can make it to your wonderful part of the world. I am actually positive about tourism for NZ. My hypothesis is that busy places (New York City, Disneyland, etc) may loose some of their appeal for a period, and remote small islands will be a good option. That’s us – and you. Building on the suggestions from the other experts, it might also be worth considering the following;
– banding together with others in your area to create a cluster to pool resources and connections. You might be able to create some packages that make it easy for NZers to book
– talk to the local council and tourism group – are there resources you can access to support you?
– consider connecting with one of the bigger businesses in your area and ask if they can support you as well – some one who might have some digital expertise you can access like Yealands Wines. Everyone wins when the local community is strong
Good luck and can’t wait to visit myself.