New Zealanders asked to visit Auckland to help keep local tourism afloat

Auckland has put out an SOS and is pleading Kiwis to consider the city as a destination this summer.

When New Zealand came out of lockdown earlier this year, the regions pleaded for Aucklanders to visit to help keep tourism afloat. Now the City of Sails is asking Kiwis to return the favour by coming for a visit.

Auckland has taken a huge hit with no international visitors and is now forced to compete for the domestic dollar. 

Weta Workshop is hoping to entice visitors by giving a behind-the-scenes look at sets and creatures carefully designed by its staff in its latest tourist attraction - Weta Workshop Unleashed.

"They get to see three movie projects from horror to fantasy and science fiction," Weta Workshop head of tourism Jake Downing said.

It's also hoped Aucklanders stay in the city and support local businesses.

Auckland Tourism, Events, and Economic Development general manager Steve Armitage said while people know the islands and Piha, there are places like Matakana that offer "amazing experiences".

He believes Aucklanders have risen to the occasion and helped out the tourism industry in other parts of New Zealand and now it's time to return the favour.

"It has to be reciprocal for the time being," he said.

Discounts to local attractions will be available at the Tourism Expo this Saturday.

The city's summer activities will be headlined by the America's Cup Christmas regatta.  

While it's just over a month away until Auckland is showcased to the world, it won't be enough time to trade in the inner city's traffic cones and roadworks for the hustle and bustle of tourists.

"Admittedly it's still being built in and around us, but we won't let that detract us from offering a good time for people," Armitage said.

Christchurch locals Newshub spoke to had differing opinions about whether they'd make a trip up to Auckland.

"I might do, I've got family up there," one said.

"I'm looking to go south on a road trip rather than go north," another said.

It was similar for whether they'd travel north for the America's Cup Christmas regatta.

"I'd love to go to that, I'd love to see it," one said.

"I love the America's Cup but I'll probably just watch it from home," another said.

But some things have to be seen to be believed, although you'll have to wait until December for the big reveal.