Destination Cambridge CEO Miff Macdiarmid is determined not to let the grinch steal Christmas despite the Covid pandemic putting a stop to several major seasonal events.
Down the gurgler is the annual Christmas Parade and the Christmas Rowing Regatta, and an announcement last week officially pulled the plug on January’s Waka Ama Sprint Nationals.
Miff and her crew are doing everything they can to support several Christmas initiatives to help boost the seasonal spirit. There is the ‘Floats in the Shop Windows’, a Christmas-inspired colouring-in for kids to do and then hang in a street facing window at home, and a ‘Decorate your Letterbox’ initiative. There will also be a Drive in Movie on December 11, with details to be announced soon.
A selection of colouring-in templates are available at primary schools and pre-schools, and at the i-Site offices.
A marked pick-up in visitors to the Cambridge i-Site office is helping offset event cancellations, Miff said, notably from people to the south of Waipā are keen to catch up with family or take a trip away.
“Most common requests are for walking and biking trails, and where to eat,” she said. “Biking is seeing a large uptick in interest, and with the Te Awa Trail fully opening early next year, and the shuttle services that are planned, we see this as great potential for Cambridge’s visitor industry. Many people are choosing Cambridge as their base, while exploring the Waikato River Trail, Te Awa and even as far as Hauraki Trail.”
Destination Cambridge recently added to its resource base with the launch of a comprehensive walking guide, offering locals and visitors a selection of easy walks in Cambridge and rurally within about an hour of the town. Also now on stream is a useful food trail map for Cambridge. Miff said it had been delivered to i-Site just before the August lockdown, and is only now being distributed.
She said Cambridge was seen as a great place to shop for the festive season, particularly for those keen to avoid crowded shopping malls, and said local retailers were already seeing an improvement in business.