Fancy a weekend in Hamilton? You better move to Auckland
ANGELA CUMING AND HARRY PEARL
Fancy winning a weekend of sampling Hamilton's delights including VIP treatment at the Nightglow event?
Then you better move to Auckland.
A competition to win 'The Best Seats in the House' at the popular event has been launched by Hamilton City Council, but unless you area Jafa don't worry about entering.
The City has 50 prizes to give away with winners getting an evening nightglow performances, complete with a snack hamper and picnic rug, one night's accommodation for two adults and two children, a goodie pack and family pass either to Hamilton Zoo or Waterworld.
It is only open to Auckland residents to enter.
Tourism officials say the Auckland-only policy it is a targeted campaign to encourage visitors to our fair city.
But move has raised the ire of some locals who say it should be open to everyone, including Waikato folk.
Local Tyrone Ford said: ''Why just Aucklanders? I don't mind if we locals are not allowed to enter but there are other places outside of Hamilton too you know!''
Myra Dost said anyone should be able to enter (and) ''not just Jafas''. ''Plenty of small towns with deserving families,'' she said.
And Hamilton mother Tracey Osborne said it was not fair. ''As a Hamiltonian who has supported the night glow for years, I'd love to be able win this for my children who both are obsessed with hot air balloons - my fie-year-old has one hanging in his room. So, very unfair to be so selective.
For its part the HCC says the competition is all about getting new people to experience Hamilton and encouraging more of them to come and stay.
''Each year we target a different location and this year it is Aucklanders who have a chance to win,'' a spokesperson said.
The competition is part of Hamilton and Waikato Tourism's domestic Short Escapes campaign.
Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Kiri Goulter said Auckland was an important market for domestic tourism, and it made sense to concentrate on it for a key event.
''The short break campaign goes wider than Auckland, but in terms of trying to lift the profile of the balloons event, it was decided in this instance to offer that to Aucklanders to spend some time and money with us,'' she said.
And other locals simply can't see what all the fuss is about.
If the winners are from Auckland they are more likely to return to Hamilton again and spend up in Hamilton, than someone living further away, or a Hamiltonian, is,'' said Gabrielle Houghton. ''I think its fine.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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