Posted by Peter Hawkins on Jul 13, 2017

At Changeover I received a few comments/questions as to how the Tour went this year and although President Peter did announce the results at a May meeting, along with twice commenting within his ‘President Reports’, this report will give you an overview of this year's event, and detail what is planned for 2018.

This years Tour was a 15 day tour from Auckland to Dunedin and timed immediately prior to Easter. Planning only began in October 2016 and probably was the prime reason for the resultant small number of Tourists being Eleven. (5 couples and 1 single male) Only Australian Rotarians were targeted and promotion was done by emailing about 900 Club Presidents or Secretaries. However, we did get a good geographical spread with one from each State. The small number required some rebudgeting resulting in the decision to not have the planned on-board a Host Couple. (We did have a Professional Tour Guide with them throughout.)

From a Rotary perspective the travellers had the following Rotary contact:

  • Pakuranga members picking them up from the airport.
  • The Tour organisor greeting them on arrival at the hotel. (Grand Millennium)
  • A ‘Meet and Greet’ meeting on the first night followed by a Group Dinner.
  • Maureen & I remained with them throughout their first day in Auckland.
  • A Home-Hosted dinner with Pakuaranga members. (Special thanks to the Hosts)
  • Attending the Papanui Club dinner meeting in Christchurch. Past Pakuranga member Dave Drake and wife Margaret hosted the group on our behalf.
  • A Home-Hosted meal with Queenstown Rotary members.
  • A Farewell Dinner in Dunedin with Pres Peter & Margaret and Maureen & I attending.

Following the tour, a questionnaire was sent to the participants and after receipt, I formalised a full Report which was sent to President Peter and Director Peter on the 19th May 2017.

The Questionnaire responses were excellent and typical overview comments were:

  • We thought the tour was fantastic.   Sharron (the Tour Guide) was brilliant.
  • Thank you very much for a holiday we will fondly remember for a long time.
  • We felt the trip was very good 😊in every way.
  • We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the tour and you are to be congratulated.

Although only 11 people participated much was learnt and a Profit of $3,886 was achieved.

As a result, Pres David has given me the OK to repeat the exercise next year and this is now well underway. This tour will be a 17-day tour on the 6th to the 17th April 2018. The extra 2 days allow us time to break the Rotorua to Wellington leg by having a night in Napier, and also finishing in Christchurch, not Dunedin. An optional 4-day tour to the Bay of Islands is also offered prior to the start of the main tour.

This year we are inviting Rotarians from within the States of California and Texas (25 Districts) as well as all of Australia (also 25 Districts). John McMillian has offered me a hand this year so the only needed assistance from the Club members will be as done this year with ‘Airport pick-ups’ and ‘Home hosting’ the visitors to a home meal. We have had more time to prepare and promote this year and we expect to fill our planned 30 seater bus and hopefully get a waiting list for a later tour. About 1000 emails have been sent to Club Presidents, District Governors and those that indicated an interest last year. This year's travellers are also assisting with promotion to their Clubs, and to their DGs. The emails were sent last weekend and already the responses are beginning to flow in encouraging numbers. (Fingers crossed)

Yours in Rotary
Peter Hawkins