The West Coast is at Alert Level 2. COVID-19 Business Support
South Westland businesses offer to help pay for your fuel to visit!
With the recent suspension of the trans-Tasman travel bubble for the foreseeable future, a group of innovative businesses on the West Coast have put together a travel deal to stimulate demand to the hard-hit South Westland region, including a free $50 fuel voucher to help get visitors to the region.
South Westland has been one of the hardest-hit areas of New Zealand from the COVID-19 border closures with visitor spending in the tourist hotspots of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier down 48 percent from pre-COVID levels.
In response to the additional challenge of the suspension of the trans-Tasman bubble, a group of businesses, the ‘Back to the Future’ group, are offering a free $50 fuel voucher for the first 50 bookings made online from Tuesday 3 August for their $299 pp Franz Josef and Hokitika – Back to the Future 2 Deal.
The package includes a helicopter flight over the Franz Josef Glacier with Heliservices.NZ, a night’s accommodation in a luxury Tree Lodge at the Qualmark Gold rated Rainforest Retreat, and 24 hour pass entry to the West Coast Wildlife Centre – the largest kiwi incubation and hatching facility in the South Island supported in a public/private partnership with The Department of Conservation.
The deal also includes a night’s stay in a 4-star luxury ocean view suite at the Beachfront Hotel in Hokitika and an exhilarating treetop walk above the canopy with West Coast Treetop Walk and Café.
“We operate in an incredibly beautiful but geographically isolated place in the South Island and in this very challenging travel market we realised that we need to offer exceptional value for money deals to bring guests into our region in a quick, easy to book, and customer friendly way,“ says Richard Benton from the West Coast Wildlife Centre.
“Working together in partnership has been really rewarding,” says Mike Nolan from Heliservices.NZ. “And it is really helping bring visitors into our communities to experience the West Coast.”
The initiative is very timely given the recent suspension of the trans-Tasman bubble.
“Australians have traditionally been our biggest international market during the winter period,” says Development West Coast Destination and Tourism Manager Patrick Dault.
“Although volumes of Australian visitors under the travel bubble weren’t close to what they’d normally be, it was providing a slight boost to businesses.”
For the months of April, May and June 2021 the West Coast received an increase in electronic card spending from Australian visitors of around $700,000 compared to the same period last year, according to data from MarketView.
“While it was very welcome, this is only a fraction of what Australian visitors were spending prior to the pandemic - just 23% of what they would usually spend on the West Coast,” Mr Dault adds.
“The halt to the bubble is unfortunate, but we encourage Kiwis to continue supporting the region by exploring our backyard. The Coast is that perfect getaway for those seeking to reconnect with the untamed natural wilderness of the region,” Mr Dault said.
“You don’t need to travel overseas for world-class experiences. The West Coast is brimming with award-winning activities and stunning landscapes for you and your family to experience.”
For more information about the Back to the Future 2 Deal see: www.wildkiwi.co.nz/glacier-package2/
Terms and Conditions apply. The first 50 bookings for the $299 pp Franz Josef and Hokitika Back to the Future 2 deal will qualify for a $50 free fuel voucher. Bookings from 3 August 2021.