It should come to no surprise that the local tourism businesses throughout New Zealand are already feeling the pinch as the Covid-19 virus has spread around the world closing country borders and causing widespread uncertainty. Tourism businesses are on the front line, but most small/family owned businesses are expected to suffer in the near future.

The first thing to say here is this is written from the perspective of Bay Tours and Charters – which is a small family owned tourism business based in Hawke’s Bay. This article’s intention is not political, instead it is a way to share ideas to help similar businesses around the country.

So please like, comment and share this article within your circles. Together we can make a difference by spreading the word!

Explore Regional NZ | #backyourbackyard

Firstly, if you have not been overseas lately and are feeling fit and healthy, consider supporting local businesses by spending money as you normally would. Visit your favourite restaurants, plan regional trips in New Zealand and explore your own backyard!

Many people have had to cancel planned trips overseas or have chosen to postpone for a time when there is less uncertainty when leaving New Zealand. Now is a great time to consider visiting regional New Zealand. Pack your bags and get in the car for a weekend away – visit somewhere you haven’t been before or head back to one of your childhood hangouts. If you’ve never been to Hawke’s Bay, now is the time!

Show love for small Hotels in the regions, shop at locally owned boutiques, get your morning coffee in the family owned cafe. Every bit you can do will go a long way by boosting the local economies that usually depend on international tourism.

Shop Local and support small businesses & book direct!

Smiling cafe workerWhen you look in around your communities you will see plenty of small businesses that are independently owned. This might be your opportunity to find your new favourite boutique or locally made product. Businesses all over New Zealand have already indicated that they have seen a massive drop off in foot traffic and revenue (some up to 90%). At this stage all the expert advice for New Zealand is only self-isolate if you have been overseas or if you have been in contact with someone who has. So get out there and support local!

If you would prefer to stay at home at this time then consider online shopping with your local businesses. Most small boutiques and restaurants have some form of online shopping where the goods can be delivered straight to your door.

One of the biggest trends at the moment is an increase in online sales for wine. Most Hawke’s Bay wineries deliver wine straight to your door if you order at least 6 bottles, by buying directly through the winery 100% of the profits will go to the wineries. We have created a list of Hawke’s Bay wineries you can buy direct from. Click the link here

Write a review and help boost awareness

Leave reviews for local businessesThis one won’t cost you a penny but can have one of the biggest impacts. Everyone reading this article has a favourite local restaurant, cafe or bar, a hotel they love to stay at when visiting another region or have been on a great tour lately. Writing an honest review about your experience will have a huge impact.

Sharing your review will not only increase the awareness of the local business and help visiting tourists find that business in the future but it will also provide a much needed morale boost. There are plenty of places you can leave a review online – try Facebook, Google or Tripadvisor. It won’t matter where you write it, the most important thing is that you DO write one.

Interact with their social posts

Social Media engagement for small businessesIt may seem pretty trivial but by commenting on and liking social posts from local tourism businesses and organisations such as Tourism Hawke’s Bay you will help extend the reach of their posts, introducing new audiences to their brand. It won’t cost you a thing to share interesting articles or tag friends in relevant posts.

Bonus points for you if you upload an image eating at a restaurant or tasting wine at a winery cellar door. Plus don’t forget to tag the relevant companies! While you are here feel free to follow our instagram page for updates on the Hawke’s Bay wine and tourism industry – here

Buy gift Vouchers & Book tours for next summer 

Sales and discountsYou might not feel like doing a wine tour or visiting a NZ region right now but the regions will certainly appreciate the added cash flow. This in turn will help small businesses pay staff and increase their spend in the communities.

You might have already noticed that prices for services such as international flights are beginning to fall. If you are prepared to book for the future you will find yourself great deals and at the same time help the business offering the special deals tremendously.

We urge other local businesses to use gift vouchers and discounts to increase cash flow and reward supportive customers.

Be kind and look after your community

This is the most important thing to remember! We all need to stick together as a community and do what’s right. The health of our most vulnerable matters the most. So make sure you are up to date with reputable sources of information such as World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health.


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