Insider Guides

We believe travelling is all about finding those cool, hidden spots only the locals know about. Meet some of our real locals who know the region inside out!

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Chris Walbran

"Marlborough can take some heart in the fact that our economy is punching above its weight, compared with the performance of the national economy at the moment"

top Must Dos

Marlborough Farmers’ Market

Marlborough Farmers’ Market

My favourite place


It’s been a stressful time for most business owners, with income streams switching off overnight during lockdown and a lot of uncertainty remaining still - especially in light of this recent outbreak. None of us know what lies ahead with Covid.

All that uncertainty makes it extremely difficult for businesses to plan. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, try to remain positive and focus on the most important things that you need to do today, to keep your clients happy and your staff busy.

Right now it’s all about keeping the local economy going by spending our money locally wherever we can. Keeping it local enables businesses to keep operating and retain their staff.

We’ve seen some exciting examples of the way local businesses have pivoted their businesses in response to the pandemic - turning restrictions into opportunities.

Minghettis started doing home deliveries of freshly baked bread and Meaters of Marlborough Ltd also did home deliveries of meat to their customers - both perfect examples of small businesses pivoting their businesses - before pivot was a buzzword.

The signals I’m seeing is there has been good support for local businesses and services.
Since the school holidays we’ve seen a softening starting to happen, so we’ve all got to be mindful and not carry on like it’s business as usual.

The economy is unlikely to be ‘normal’ or back to pre-pandemic levels for some time.
I think the positives to come out of this is the focus on supporting Marlborough businesses. It’s been great to see the Marlborough District Council leading the way, using local contractors where they can.

Marlborough can take some heart in the fact that our economy is punching above its weight, compared with the performance of the national economy at the moment.

That’s probably due to the diverse industries we have here: forestry, horticulture, wine, farming, marine farming, tourism and on top of that the NZ Defence Force, Airbus and Sounds Air.
The other part of the story is the attractiveness of our region to people in their later parts of life, who often have greater levels of discretionary spending than the rest of us.

They’re not able to spend that money on travel at the moment, so they’ve been busy fixing up their homes, or getting a new spa or entertainment area built. That won’t last forever, but is all adding to our recovery in the short term.

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