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Lowdown on the Lockdown… Day 1: Auckland Zoo’s Adam Taylor-Eruera

26 Mar 2020  By Shannon Williams | shannon@tourismticker.com | @tourismticker

Adam Taylor-Eruera with the team from Southern World (pre-lockdown of course)

As the country moves into a four-week lockdown in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Ticker launches a new ‘Lowdown on the Lockdown’ series where we’ll bring you daily stories from tourism professionals as they explore new ways of working, share what life now looks like for them, and just how much the pandemic has changed what they do.


Day 1: Adam Taylor-Eruera, tourism sales manager at Auckland Zoo.

It’s day one of the shut down – what does that mean for you? Are you still working? 

Yes, I am extremely lucky to be working. Our executive team at Auckland Zoo and our division of Auckland Council, Regional Facilities Auckland, have been amazing with their responsiveness, internal communications, and support. We are extremely fortunate.

How are you doing with everything that is going on? How have the last few weeks been for you?

I’m doing great actually. I firmly believe that we will be back into it soon.

With tourism and events, we work ahead of time so I’m going ahead with my annual sales call cycle just a little bit sooner than usual as they would normally begin in April – we’re trying to make it business as usual. I get to work with a great marketing and communications team at AZ, so I have them working on daily content that I will share through LinkedIn and our normal daily email out to the hotels/i-SITEs/backpackers in Auckland, just to stay engaged.  They are also working on some new video content that I will use when I have my virtual sales calls. It’ll essentially be a site visit in video form. So our team is mobilising.

I have also set up some appointments with a number of professional conference organisers for 22 – 23 April when MEETINGS would have been on. We would have had a new 180 seat/250 cocktail venue opening in April, called Te Puna (The Spring), so I will use that time to update our events roopu on this fabulous new addition.

A couple of weeks ago I started a process to work with the Auckland hotels to package up the Zoo to help drive accommodation bookings. I donated free entry tickets to our Zoo to help the seven preferred hotels that were impacted by the cancellation of the WONCA Conference that was meant to be in late April.  Two thousand delegates over three to four days is a huge chunk of inventory to recover from, so I put the offer out there to help out in our small way. Obviously, all that has changed with the nation progressing to alert level 4, but we can still work towards having a plan in place when the levels begin to drop, and people begin to travel again.

Whanaungatanga is an important value for me.

What are you hoping to achieve during the shut-down period? Have you got any personal goals? 

The most important personal goal for me is to not get fat.

A healthy wellbeing is what I want to achieve. My Crossfit gym has loaned us gear, and we will do classes together online, I have turned my garage into a Crossfit gym.

Routine is really important to me. So the goal is to stick with my daily routine, e.g. Crossfit at 7am, at my desk at 8.30am, virtual coffee with my teammates at 9am, virtual lunch at midday, and the Deb Summers-inspired virtual industry drinks every Friday at 4pm. Michelle Caldwell has set up a Zoom link, add it to your diary, all are welcome.

Have you and your family or loved ones got some fun ideas to get you through the next couple of weeks? 

My parents are in Ongaonga in Central Hawke’s Bay. They have lots of room to roam around, so it’s life as normal for them as they live most of their life in the garden… and at lawn bowls. My brothers and I have decided it’s best they stay isolated for now.  Dad has strict instructions to send me feijoas. My dad is 75 and was a “Junior Champion” at the Waipawa Lawn Bowls Club last year, so he will miss that for a while.

My youngest brother Corey is in Palmerston North and they have a three-year-old and a huge garden, so lots of family time for them. My other brother is in Taupō, he has no patience (the exact opposite to me), so I’m not sure how he is gonna cope.

And what are you going to miss most about work while you’re away from the workplace?

What will I miss……

  • The opportunity to expose our industry to Auckland Zoo. I am only half-way through my two-year strategy of sharing our amazing stories with our inbound partners, business events industry and associated roopu. So taking prospective partners on a famil of our native New Zealand track Te Wao Nui, and sharing the stories of our native species is not only incredibly rewarding, the mauri/life force of Te Wao Nui is good for the soul.
  • My boss leaves Auckland Zoo in early April to take on a role at the All Blacks Experience. So Monday was an emotional day for me, as I essentially said goodbye to my boss as we won’t see him again before he goes, couldn’t even give him a hug. Phil McGowan is an outstanding manager, a highly caring leader, and quite possibly the best boss I have experienced in my career, and I will miss him terribly.
  • Tash, Joleen, Debs……….
  • The slow-cooked Hawke’s Bay lamb in our Old Elephant House restaurant…….OMG!!!!!!!!
  • And finally, the people in our industry who won’t be there when we come out the other side of this, it’s heartbreaking.

Aroha nui everyone!!!!!!!


If you’d like to contribute to our Lowdown on the Lockdown series, contact the Ticker’s Shannon Williams at shannon@tourismticker.com.

 


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