An Australian trip was canned and another trip in July to the United States has been put off. Life was starting to feel stink for the Shaw kids from Lower Hutt. But now their mum and dad are setting an example to help the economy by planning a mega trip to Rotorua for the July school holidays. Journalist Kelly Makiha reports.
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The Shaws from Lower Hutt are in the throes of planning their next holiday - they're flicking through Rotorua travel websites and planning a trip away.
They say it's their chance to do their bit for the economy and there is no better place to go once travel restrictions loosen than Rotorua.
Shelley Shaw said she and hubby Ben wanted to plan something special after her daughter's dance group trip to Disneyland in July was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said a fun getaway to Rotorua was also a reward for Cam, 14, Maddie, 11, and Tommy, 3, for coping so well during the lockdown.
They are planning a six-night stay and will go all out exploring and supporting Rotorua's tourist attractions. Each child is allowed to pick three activities and so far Skyline Rotorua's luge and Sky Swing, Rainbow Springs, Zipline, Zorb and Te Puia are up there with the picks.
"For an active family like us, life has come crashing down like it has for many others but I'm just so proud of how everyone's coped. This is a thank you to our kids and I promised them the next holidays we will do something awesome."
They are about to book and pay for their stay at Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park and are researching family-friendly activities.
Shaw said she worked for the Welsh Sevens team that travelled to Rotorua two years ago and was blown away with how they were treated.
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"Skyline and Te Puia treated us like royalty. Everyone was just incredible so I guess this is payback. Rotorua came to the party for us, so we will come back and stay."
She said it was important everyone listened and acted on calls to support domestic tourism.
"We could have stayed with friends but we have been listening and we need to spend in New Zealand.
"I'm just so sad for our tourism industry because that is what we are about."
She said it was also the ideal time to come to somewhere like Rotorua, because there would be fewer international visitors.
"Rotorua is always super busy and that has put us off in the past so it's actually even more appealing now ... It's drivable, there's so much to do and our kids are adrenalin junkies so where else would we go?"