Say no to Corona.
Published 15 Jul 2020
Leading up to April we had a good amount of tours on the horizon, averaging 3 almost 4 per week but Covid quickly saw the sun set and brought the darkness of Lockdown. Bit over the top that really but I liked the play on words and as I've tried to be the whole way through this, keeping optimistic and finding a laugh where I can.
I spent most of Lockdown teaching myself new skills and working on promoting the business. We also ran a promo in which we gave away a Half Day Tour to an essential worker, offered a Kiwi nurse working and living in New York a free tour and we donated two vouchers to the Red Cross for a charity auction. "However bad you think you've got it, there's usually someone else who has it a whole lot worse".
Its been a challenging time for so many and personally after working in hospitality and tourism for over 20 years here in New Zealand I know way too many friends and colleagues who have been affected in the worse possible way. Myself and my partner, Vic, are both in tourism but all thanks to the wage subsidy we got through. For now.
Its times like these old mate Dave says, "I, I'm a new day rising, I'm a brand new sky, to hang the stars upon tonight, I am a little divided, do, I stay or run away, and leave it all behind? No Dave, we wont leave it all behind. I'll stay optimistic. Identify the problem and work my ass off to find the solution. Surrounding yourself with positive people always helps too.
Throwing in the towel was never an option for me. I inquired about working at our local Countdown supermarket and Mitre10, (Hardware store for you exotic folk), and came up with a plan B, C, D and E. Thankfully, plan A is still afloat. Just. While keeping that plan above water there have been a few glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel. The subsidy, (thank you Aunty Cindy), family support, (thank you Jamie my bro in-law for delivering the odd food package), and the support from both the public, tourism and hospitality communities. Special mention to Paul from the Bolton Hotel. Cheers mate!
Since coming out of Lockdown we have had a small number of tours go out to celebrate their freedom and birthday's. A few who's overseas travel plans have been disrupted so making the most of the opportunities to explore New Zealand instead. We also got to give Chantal and Eric a pretty awesome day out visiting Sweet Axe Throwing, Fork and Brewer, Fortune Favours, Whistling Sisters and Heyday Beer Co. They booked well before Lockdown and were the only ones who stuck with us and remained positive knowing that one day they would get their tour. And they did. I "threw in" the axe throwing to really show them how grateful I was. Plus, it was a bloody fun day!
So thats a little of my Lockdown experience. There might have been a few craft beer deliveries too. Even when things are tight, I will always find a way to enjoy a good brew. Thats a mantra I think of often, "when you think you can't, find a way so that you can".
Kia Kaha New Zealand.