This story about the Chinese Tourists getting a FREE meal at the City Mission just won’t go away .
They now say a rogue tour operator in Auckland promised them visits to farms, geyser parks and buffet dinners – but instead took them to free public facilities and charitable events, including the City Mission’s annual Christmas dinner. Ming Xi, a visitor from Wuhan, said he and 10 other Chinese tourists were taken to the City Mission lunch by the tour leader, who told them the event was an annual “buffet treat” the New Zealand Government organised for citizens and visitors.
The tourists arrived last month as part of a tour group on a four-day North Island tour.
They decided to extend their visit to experience how Christmas was celebrated in a Western country. They were approached by the Mandarin-speaking tour leader as they left the i-Site Visitor Information Centre in Quay St, Auckland, the week before Christmas and offered a discounted daily rate of $88 a person for the tour, which included meals and all activities and entry charges.
The itinerary would include visits to a wildlife reserve, a farm park, gardens and a geyser park, and meals would include a Kiwi barbecue, a cultural dinner and a grand Christmas buffet.
Thinking they had real bargain, they decided to go with him was because it would be handy to have a local guide who spoke Mandarin.
The Kiwi barbecue was a sausage sizzle at a public barbecue pit, and the cultural dinner was a vegetarian meal at an “Indian” spiritual gathering where the group were asked to chant, sing and dance before eating.
*A grand Christmas buffet, cultural dinner and a great Kiwi barbecue
*Admission to a farm park with farm shows, shearing and milking
*Visit to a wildlife reserve with endangered native birds
*Geysers, mud pools and a soak in Rotorua hot mineral pool
What they got:
*Auckland City Mission charity Christmas lunch
*Vegetarian dinner by an “Indian” spiritual group, for which they had to chant, sing and dance
*A sausage sizzle on a public barbecue pit
*Council-funded Ambury Farm Park and Western Springs
*Rotorua’s public Kuirau Park and a soak at its free foot bath
Supposedly this operator is not one of the accredited Chinese Tourism Operators in New Zealand.
Personally, I have to admit its a great story…….
We finally got the opportunity to grab a little bit of R&R last weekend and went to Rotorua for the weekend. we have been busy at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast since Christmas 2010 and haven’t had a break. It wasn’t a major break ; just a teaser for a later one this August when the lure of the Pacific will come calling
We stayed at the Princess Gate Hotel .This is a bit of pure history in New Zealand.One kinda expects a ghost to be walking around. Although I hear room #29 has a history.
This is a real stunning old Hotel. Totally recommend it to anyone. The beds were comfortable and I was impressed with the feather topper pad on top of the mattress. Very nifty idea. I came home and copied the idea ! Went along to the Polynesian Pools and had the soak in the thermal pools. Soooooo good!
The old Bathhouse has been turned into a Museum and we found that a bit fascinating to walk around.
Had breakfast in the Fat Dog. People actually queue up to get inside. Unbelievable ! The owners have definitely tapped into a good thing there.
International Visitor Arrivals ending 22 April:
Total visitor arrivals are up by 2.3% compared to the same four week period last year.
Ups: , China 68%, Korea 16%, Canada 19%,
Japan 79%, USA 0.1%,
Downs: Singapore -3%, UK -23%, Australia -2%,
I personally would be happier if we could see more arrivals from our historical markets…. But that’s tourism !