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Tourism businesses in the Waitaki Valley are working together to face the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Last week, 12 business owners met in person and via Zoom to discuss how to promote domestic tourism in the Waitaki Valley.

Western House co-owner Linda Scott Araya, who organised the meeting, said the idea was to get more direct communication between businesses.

One of the ideas was to create a directory of what activities were on offer each day, Ms Scott Araya said.

“The focus for everyone is to attract as many domestic travellers as we can and to enhance their experiences by collaborating valley-wide and by offering as guided tours, horse rides, gardening tours, massages and fishing trips,” she said.

The group discussed the opportunities around upcoming events in Otematata such as the midwinter ball, and the Waitaki Vally motorcycle rally in September, which was tipped to attract up to 1000 participants this year.

There was an opportunity to promote domestic tourism in the Waitaki Valley, and the bookings were already starting to pick up again at Western House, Ms Scott Araya said.

“There are people who are essential workers who are now taking time off,” she said.

“People definitely are moving.”

The group was also organising a photo competition to run through social media next month, with the aim of promoting the district’s natural beauty, she said.