One of Waiheke’s biggest tourist attractions is holding a “locals day” as a way to say thanks to Waiheke residents who have helped them weather the economic storm of the past 15 months.
EcoZip will close to the general public and charge what they describe as “mates’ rates” to locals on Sunday 1 August – with all proceeds raised from the $40 rides earmarked for three local charities to be chosen by the community.
CEO and co-founder, Gavin Oliver, says the company wanted to show its thanks to Waiheke Island residents for their support, not just over the past year when international border closures resulted in a significant decrease in visitor numbers, but for all nine years that the company has been in operation.
Before the pandemic hit, EcoZip was forecast to welcome around 25,000 visitors in the 2020/21 season, of which more than 70 percent would have been international visitors. The business has since had to adapt quickly to the country’s reliance first on domestic tourism and more lately the bubble with Australia.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that the support we’ve had from our island community has been invaluable, particularly in the past 12 months,” Gavin says.
“We’ve had locals bring their friends who are visiting to zip; holiday home and bach owners endorsing us to their guests; residents recommending us on social media… all of these things have helped to keep the doors open and the lights on in the last year. It’s been humbling and we are all immensely thankful for the support of the locals.”
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!