A Word from Dylan Rushbrook, Tourism Central Otago general manager

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Eat.Taste.Central is here!

In a world where business and community are facing constant challenges, now is your chance to support local families and have fun while doing it.

I’m planning to take my own advice in the next few weeks.

Option one “staycation” in a Central Otago town you haven’t stayed in for a while, and experience why visitors come from across the globe to experience this beautiful place.

The cycle trails are amazing right now, the weather is warming up and the seasonal delights of spring are upon us.

Option two about over the next five weeks and enjoy the Eat.Taste.Central campaign.

From tomorrow to Labour Weekend, we will be celebrating everything food and beverage right across Central Otago.

In addition to incredible dishes on the regional menu, there are some brilliant events and experiences this year.

Everything is more fun with friends, so grab some mates and try something new.

If your budget is limited, it’s so easy to be part of this celebration.

Throw the tent in the boot and use one of our amazing campgrounds, or even just bike/drive to another town and buy a pie off the regional menu.

For those with a bigger budget, book yourself a couple of nights away and really indulge.

The reality for many of us means Level 2 is back to “business near normal”.

However, for some businesses and families Delta Alert Level 2 is truly terrifying.

I had many catch-ups last week with accommodation and hospitality venues across Central Otago. The impacts of lockdown and Delta Level 2 are being felt by every single one of them.

Most people I spoke to have averaged somewhere between % and 30% of their normal weekly revenue since August 17.

That is the definition of doing it tough, yet not one of them is asking for a handout or playing the “woe is me” card just not how it is done around here, is it?

These business owners know good times aren’t too far away.

All indications are there is a busy summer ahead; they just need to survive until then.

So, Central Otago, what are you waiting for?

Get booking, get supporting local businesses and get sharing your stories of just how special this place is.

As an added incentive, each vote in the “people’s choice” categories puts you in the draw to win the ultimate two-night Central Otago culinary experience. Details can be found at centralotagonz.com/eat-taste-central.