A few articles ago, I casually raised the question of what a tourist package aimed at attracting Chinese travelers to Hawke’s Bay might look like.

Below is a somewhat over the top response from Napier’s Max Patmoy.

Whereas I was thinking along the lines of going upmarket and offering a ‘luxury retreat’, Max has trumped that with a working holiday for top execs. However, I suspect that the Prime Minister and other high officials won’t make too many trips to Hawke’s Bay to privately pimp for NZ or our region (hey, it’s probably even illegal!). And you readers — especially environmentalists — might think other elements of Max’s Top Shelf tour need some refinement!

But hey, he gets a ‘Merit’ for imagination! See what you think … and if you think Hawke’s Bay can compete with the best, come up with your own Top Shelf Hawke’s Bay tour.

Top Shelf Hawke’s Bay
By Max Patmoy

I think there is an opportunity for Hawke’s Bay to tap into the top end Chinese business executive market, offering them a luxurious work-play package.

Let’s give it the working name “Top Shelf Hawke’s Bay”

Its aim would be to give those who can afford it the nicest working holiday imaginable worldwide.

It would be seven days in Hawke’s Bay plus traveling time.

Travel would be Air New Zealand from Beijing First Class (or Business Premium as it’s now called). A Top Shelf Hawke’s Bay (TSHB) guide (speaking Mandarin) would accompany the group. In-flight reading material and DVDs provided. Clients and partners would be presented with their own pre-made Green jacket to fit, green TSHB tie or scarf. All TSHB staff would be dressed in a handmade suits/dresses made especially for them.

Pick up in Auckland by Rolls Royces and overnight stay in a leading Auckland Hotel.

Private jet to Napier. Pick up in art deco Rolls Royces (yes they are available in Hawke’s Bay) and transfer to wherever the group was staying. It would need to be the very best standard. The Lodge at Cape Kidnappers etc. Even there the game must be picked up, as we are dealing with the wealthiest people in the world and we need recommendations. Many will have already been to New Zealand.

My idea is to have four relaxation (research days) days and three full on working days.

The first working day would see the group (let’s assume 10 clients) addressed by top members of Government. I would expect the PM to address the first. These Parliamentarians (and partners) would also be offered a few days with us, again great publicity. There would then be short (translated) talks from Tourism, Finance and Leisure representatives. Every speaker would have to be “prepped”.

The second working day (after a relaxation/research day) would be with the CEO’s of those businesses that the client requested, probably in their own line of business. Every speaker would have to be “prepped”. Each client would have their own function room and interpreter. With enough notice I am sure the CEOs could be lured to attend. Again the CEOs (and partners) would also be offered a few days with us and the clients.

The third working day (after another relaxation/research day) would be for New Zealand Business to make a pitch to them all. A bit like Dragon’s Den. Every speaker would have to be “prepped”. Again the “Presenters” (and partners) would also be offered a few days with us and the clients.

Between each day there would be R and R days. Some choices would be Trout Fishing, Scenic Flights, Maori Heritage Tours, Hot Air Ballooning, Art Deco Tours, Paragliding, Food & Wine Tours, Epicurean Tours, Horse Treks, River Kayaking, White Water Rafting, Farm Tours, Walking Trails, Gannet Colony, Golf, Four Wheel Drive Experiences, ATV Quad Biking, Mountain Bikes, and Kiwi Discovery Walks, just for a start. And of course the best Hawke’s Bay food and wine. The partners and clients would have a guide (speaking Mandarin).

The all up cost per client would be between NZ$50,000 and NZ$100,000.

Advertising would be through the top magazines they read (Fortune, Forbes, Time etc),and Google Adwords, under the right categories.

Just my thoughts.


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1 Comment

  1. I don't see Max Patmoy's concept as being over the top…more like lateral thinking which is exactly what's needed if the Bay is to move past it's wineries/art deco/gannets fixation.

    Max's package is eminenetly do-able and I know Sir Roger Douglas and Don Brash were doing this type of thing down at Wharekahau ( or whatever) Lodge on the Wairarapa coast.

    But to lure top end global biz to such an event ..which is what it is, not tourism…requires some serious players out of Auckland or Wellington to go up there and spin it to the Chinese…..and , on the ground in China.

    China Airlines fly 3 times a week to Guangzhou which is a huge biz hub in China and they've only just started flying into NZ so they may be into a co-op promo like this?

    So, essentially what the Bay needs is a high-end EVENT MANAGEMENT company to specialise in such stuff….and I don't know of such an organisation in the Bay but there are plenty in the cities who can do it on contract to the Bay.

    Golf is a huge drawcard to Japanese and Chinese…as are blonde women ?!

    You're onto it , Max, but getting it done may be a challenge when you look for those of the calibre required to put it together.

    " Hawkes Bay…we mix business with pleasure "..I can see it now !

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