Aucklanders are getting a subtle reminder that, even in the depths of winter, they can jump on a ferry for some rest and relaxation.
Funded by the Waiheke Island Tourism Forum, Fullers and ATEED, the Waiheke is Warmer campaign is running on 10 Auckland CBD buses, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
Forum member Tess Shaw says the bus advertising, promoting the island as a close winter getaway, is aimed at city folk and British and Irish Lions rugby tour visitors. The campaign runs until mid-July.
With the first test in Auckland this weekend, and the third also at Eden Park on Saturday 8 July, island businesses are anticipating an influx of Lions supporters over the next fortnight, normally a quiet time of year. While the numbers following the tourists appear down on the last Lions’ visit in 2005, they are expected to swell considerably for the three-test series.
The Tourism Forum has a new website, waihekeiswarmer.co.nz, which outlines the island’s many attractions, from beaches, vineyards and walking tracks to art galleries and cuisine.
“And it’s true that it’s 2 degrees warmer over here,” the site says. “But it’s not just the temperature that’s warmer … we pride ourselves in being warmer, every which way.”
The Tourism Forum is also working on a number of other initiatives, including the future of the information kiosk at Matiatia. The forum has employed a part-time staff member, Elliot Stubbs, to welcome and provide information to visitors during peak visitor times from Thursday to Sunday. • Geoff Cumming