Ed: Feb/March 2010

2010 … wow, where have the last ten years gone? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all planning for the mayhem of computer melt-downs at the start of the new millennium, when in fact we all breezed into 2000 without a hitch.

While the previous decade ended on a rather sour note of economic doom and gloom and travel warnings, it has, in my opinion, done some good, too. I always try to find positives in every situation, and the positive here is that it’s made us all re-evaluate our lives and figure out what’s truly important … quality time, quality people and quality holidays that offer value for money are high on most people’s lists.

When it comes to travel, I’ve noticed a huge swing amongst many New Zealanders to start re-discovering Aoteoroa and our close neighbours rather than jetting off to far flung destinations around the globe. This is a good thing! Our region has so much to offer! Cast your minds eye over the various regions – the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the hinterland of Queensland, Melbourne’s shopping, Sydney’s fine dining – and that’s just in Australia. Our South Pacific neighbouring islands offer a slice of paradise in their warmer climates too, along with palm tree dotted beaches and crystal clear waters. All this diversity … and we haven’t begun to touch on what New Zealand has to offer!

We boast world-class wines, seriously classy ski resorts, award-winning lodges and luxury resorts, and a lifestyle that is the envy of many. From heart-stopping adrenalin-pumping action to peaceful bush walks and pampered luxury, whether backpacking, camping or living the high life, it’s all right here on our own doorstep.

Tourism is a major business in New Zealand. Why, because we have so much to offer – new and wonderful experiences that entice visitors from all over the world to our shores. With so many different terrains, cultures, climates, tastes and smell, I often wonder why anyone would want to venture any further afield.

Believe me, I’m not the only one who thinks this way. The late GK Chesterton, an influential writer in his day, is quoted as saying: “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.”

Therefore I urge you to use this time of economic belt-tightening to NOT put off your holidays, but to merely rethink them. Take out a detailed map of New Zealand and have a look at the place names … there likely isn’t one person in the entire country who has been to all those towns and cities, yet they all have something to offer if you only go in search of it.

Safe travels
Gayle Dickson
Managing Editor

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going”
– Paul Theroux (1941 – )

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