Let's go, Marlborough

Posted by on April 29, 2020 at 07:55 AM in General

Congratulations Marlborough!

On behalf of Marlborough Tour Company Group, and personally, I would like to congratulate Marlborough on being free of new COVID-19 cases since before Easter – more than two weeks ago.

This is testament to the brilliant effort of everyone across the region, from businesses to essential workers, to those who have been staying safely at home in lockdown bubbles.

It’s a huge step towards the region’s recovery.

Not only does this mean as a region we’re safe, but enables Marlborough to reopen quickly to begin to recover, and to start attracting New Zealand travellers once they’re able to travel again between regions.

This is a crucial step for a tourism-based business like ours, which is Marlborough’s largest tourism employer based across Blenheim, Picton, Havelock and the Marlborough Sounds.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, our tours, cruises and lodges hosted more than 100,000 visitors each year. Well over half of these were international tourists. The impact on our business has been significant, but we’re adapting and looking ahead to a new tourism future in Marlborough.

The success of our locally-owned and operated business - and other tourism, retail and hospitality businesses across the region - relies on our staff being in constant close contact with our customers, so the sooner we can get back to doing what we do best the better.

As a region we’ve kept COVID-19 at bay; now it’s time to move things up a few gears quickly, for the Government to pare back travel restrictions safely, and for Marlburians to proactively work together to support local to get Marlborough back on track and back in business.

The road ahead isn’t easy. Every region will be competing for the domestic tourism dollar, and even when New Zealand’s border with Australia reopens – we’ll be competing with towns, regions and states throughout Australia as they battle for their own domestic dollar.

There are many great reasons for New Zealanders to visit Marlborough. But one of the greatest is that Marlburians love the region they live in.

It’s time to rekindle that romance.

The region’s local businesses and their locally-employed staff need your help to make Marlborough an even better place to live, work and visit. Please…

  • support local businesses, particularly those that have been hardest hit;
  • get behind the region’s events to ensure they can continue;
  • support local initiatives that refresh and add vibrancy to our townships;
  • provide suggestions, guidance and support for groups who are supporting Marlborough’s regeneration and growth;
  • being positive, supporting the region’s progress together, and appreciating everything that makes Marlborough a brilliant place to live;
  • rather than oppose new initiatives, let’s raise the bar by asking the question “is that all? Or could more be done?”

The sum of our region can and will become better than its parts – let’s join together and get moving, Marlborough.

Abbe Hutchins

Chief Executive

Marlborough Tour Company Group

Marlborough Tour Company tours and cruises, Cougar Line, Pelorus Mail Boat, Punga Cove and Furneaux Lodge.