In most parts of the world the tourism industry is suffering significantly due to COVID. The burning question is how do you fix it?
Glenn Marvin has come up with an innovative way to help that is being endorsed by Tourism New Zealand.
Every race has to have a starting point.
For the Ultimate Virtual Race of NZ, it began with a question: how do you help New Zealand's tourism businesses through a time when there are no tourists?
The brainchild of race director, Glenn Marvin, the Ultimate Virtual Race of NZ answers that question. You don’t even have to leave your house to discover the country’s top tourist spots (and activities).
Marvin runs Konnector - a marketing coaching company - and works with a lot of tourism operators in New Zealand, He describes the race as “a great way to showcase the amazing diversity of what New Zealand has to offer tourists”.
The race is open to runners, walkers, and cyclists. It’s also open to international competitors — and they don’t need to quarantine first.
Wherever their location, entrants can ride, run, jog, or walk the race. At a gym, their house, or on a trail, a track, or a treadmill.
They can go it alone, or team up with friends to take on the challenge.
The race starts on April 30 (NZ time). Competitors can complete the race at their own pace and take their own time. The 2,099 kilometre journey runs the distance from Cape Reinga (at the northernmost tip of New Zealand) to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island.
They log their progress in the Virtual Race tracking system to see how far they are along the route.
Along the way, they’ll pass through some of the country’s best scenery, through places like the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Blenheim, and Queenstown. And they’ll all be in with a chance to win one of two grand prizes — two New Zealand holiday experience packages valued at $15,000 each.
Competitors will also be in the running to win one of several random prizes (no matter how quickly they complete the course). Te Papa, Whale Watch Kaikoura, Maui Campers, Skyline Queenstown, Shotover Jet, Hobbiton, Weta Workshop, ZipTrek EcoTours, and Great Sights Milford are among the businesses offering a total of over $30,000 in prizes for the event.
Everyone who completes the race will be sent a race medal as a proof of their accomplishment. Prizes will be drawn and awarded on December 31.
Inbound tour operator General Travel is a partner in and co-organiser of the Virtual Race. Directors Anna Black and John Sng, praised the support they’ve received from Tourism New Zealand and the country’s major tour operators.
Sng encourages smaller operators to join in as well: “We really want to reach out to the smaller providers too, so I urge those operators to get in touch with us if they are interested in participating”.
Anyone interested in competing can learn more and sign up at the The Ultimate Virtual Race of New Zealand website (https://www.virtualracenz.com)