New Zealand travel and social media

AHA - Zorb Image

Zorb Rotorua during my 2010 trip.

We, at AHA, are taking part in #Blog4NZ, a three-day blogging extravaganza designed to highlight how spectacular New Zealand is as a travel destination. This initiative was created to help restore travel to New Zealand after the tragic earthquake that hit Christchurch in February. While this isn’t a travel blog, we do quite a bit of travel PR at our Vancouver PR agency. Since Tourism New Zealand is one of our favourite clients, we thought we would focus on posts on New Zealand for the next three days as a show of our support for the youngest country on earth.

This campaign showcases the value of connecting with stakeholders online. The objective of it is to engage travellers, to showcase New Zealand and to move those interested in visiting New Zealand to buy a plane ticket, book accommodations, and begin researching activities in New Zealand. #Blog4NZ is a grassroots campaign that will allow travellers to connect with other travellers, with travel bloggers, with other like-minded people who can (and will) authentically tell them about the things to do in New Zealand.

I have had the opportunity and privilege to travel a great deal for both professional and personal reasons. I have been to some amazing places and, with few exceptions, can always find something to marvel at in any destination. Having said that, New Zealand is one of the most incredible places on earth. Full disclosure (again) – at AHA, we are the Canadian PR agency of record for Tourism New Zealand. My love for New Zealand isn’t because they are a client – they are a client because New Zealand is a fabulous place to visit.

We are currently planning a trip to New Zealand. It will be my fourth visit and Paul’s first. As we map out our itinerary, it looks like our trip will include a visit to the artistic community of Waiheke Island – just a short ferry ride from Auckland – for wine and olive tours and tastings; Rotorua which provides a look into Maori culture, the opportunity to check out boiling hot pools of mud and, of course, to visit the lovely Dorian and Ann at Volcanic Air Safaris and take a trip to White Island – an active volcano; and the amazing Hawkes Bay, which includes the art deco city of Napier, and the start of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail (a must do for wine drinkers). Hopefully we will also have the opportunity to tour the world-class golf resort Cape Kidnappers and, of course, have a glass of wine with one of our favorite Kiwis, the fabulous Annie Dundas. Then we’re off to Queenstown for TRENZ 2011, New Zealand’s tourism trade show. In Queenstown (another breathtaking place) we’re hoping to zipline at Ziptrek Eco Tours (the same company that has the zipline in Whistler, BC), and we will have to stop for a burger at FergBurger (best burgers ever!). I am looking forward to showing Paul around New Zealand.

New Zealand is a magical place. We hear how incredible it is all the time from the travel journalists that we work with – and these folks travel for a living! While the cities in New Zealand offer a vibrant, cosmopolitan experience, you are never too far from getting away from it all and getting out into nature. New Zealand offers a unique combination of feeling a little like home (especially for us Canadians) and yet being totally different from anything we’ve ever experienced before. The people of New Zealand are at the heart of it all. They are helpful, open, friendly and have a wicked sense of humour. Being a tourist in New Zealand brings life to that cheesy saying about there being no strangers, just friends you haven’t yet met.

New Zealand is a place worth visiting. If you have ever thought about going to New Zealand – take that next step today. Check out flights. Air New Zealand and Qantas have some great prices. And for any of you worried that it’s a really long flight, there are direct, non-stop flights out of Vancouver. You get on the plane in the evening, have a glass of wine, have dinner, watch a movie, maybe another glass of wine and you go to sleep. When you wake up, breakfast is served and you’re there. It’s an easy flight.

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