As we prepare to enter into life at alert level 2, there is much anticipation about the freedoms this will allow.
Collectively, we are excited to enjoy everything that makes Hawke's Bay a truly wonderful place to live.
That local café, where they know your order by heart.
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The cellar door that produces your favourite chardonnay or syrah. The direct-from-the-producer fruit and veg at the weekly Farmers' Market.
But what about that restaurant you go to for special occasions only?
Or the bike tour you participated in once upon a time, loved but never went back? Or how about the winery restaurant or boutique hotel that you've enthusiastically committed to experiencing "one day"?
Well, "one day" is just around the corner.
Our regional visitor economy has been hit hard by Covid-19.
In April last year, Hawke's Bay registered $56.5 million in visitor spend for the month alone. This April, domestic and international tourism was halted in its steps.
The incredible operators who make up our tourism industry are a resilient bunch. They have rallied, and will continue to rally, against the long-term effects that this virus is having on their businesses, but right now they need your support.
The harsh reality of the situation is that if you don't support them now, your "one day" may never come.
As local residents of Hawke's Bay, we get to enjoy a range of world class experiences, venues and eateries because of our strong visitor economy.
Our rate per capita of inclusions within Cuisine Magazine's Top 100 Restaurants far exceeds that which could typically be expected of a provincial base of our size.
In fact, outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, our rate of inclusion is rivalled only by Queenstown – one of New Zealand's greatest tourism meccas.
But these restaurants – and concerts, events, experiences and world-class accommodation providers – that we are all so proud of, would not exist without the critical mass provided by tourism.
Put simply, our visitor economy must survive if we want to retain these aspects of Hawke's Bay life.
So what can you do?
While local support alone won't sustain the tourism industry in Hawke's Bay, your participation and dedication to rediscover your home region will give many operators the cash injection they sorely need.
By having your own Hawke's Baycation you will help sustain operators, retail stores, hospitality providers and small businesses until domestic travel can fully resume.
We have already seen the award-winning Elephant Hill Winery restaurant close its doors due to Covid-19, so let's collectively make a commitment to help prevent other such closures by experiencing our very own Hawke's Baycation today.