WINDY, WALKABLE WELLINGTON, New Zealand, has to be one of the most laid-back and unpretentious capital cities anywhere. Its casual friendliness and relaxed attitude embody trust and make doing business here a real pleasure.
Just about picture-perfect, Wellington sits on the shores of a deep harbor surrounded by a natural amphitheater of wooded hills. But they’re not kidding when they call it Windy Wellington, thanks to its position on Cook Strait, a passage between New Zealand’s north and south islands. While the locals take a certain quirky pride in the wind, visitors might want to pack a windbreaker. On the plus side, air pollution is nonexistent, as any fumes are whipped away, and wind power is harnessed for electricity thanks to the 62 turbines set on the surrounding hills, making the air so clean the city fairly sparkles.
Though New Zealand’s business culture still echoes its British roots — it is formal, reserved and conservative — you’ll find the South Pacific warmth and friendliness create a relaxed yet professional atmosphere founded on egalitarianism.
Business etiquette tends toward forthrightness, honesty and hard work. Greetings generally consist of a handshake, smile and direct eye contact. And women are treated as equals in the New Zealand workplace, often rising to senior corporate positions. Business dress is eclectic and often depends on the industry. Formal business settings favor the traditional dark suits while the more creative crowd leans toward relaxed attire.
Although the general approach to management in New Zealand is hierarchical, with decisions made by senior-level executives, the ideas, input and collaboration from all members of the organization are also highly valued. At the same time, while most New Zealanders shun formal titles, it’s a good idea for business visitors to use these until instructed otherwise.
Besides Wellington’s more traditional service-based economy — including finance, business services and government — the city thrives as the center of New Zealand’s film and special effects industries. As one of New Zealand’s major seaports, Wellington is also big in domestic and international shipping.
Wellington’s central city, at slightly less than 1.5 miles in diameter, makes it possible to walk from one side to the other in about 20 minutes. But Metlink can also get you anywhere within the city using buses, trains or ferries. It’s worth stopping by the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Information Centre to pick up an easy-to-use journey planner and a Snapper card, offering a cheaper and faster way to pay. Taxis are plentiful and readily available.
Wellington claims to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City. With rich farmland to the north and the ocean’s bounty to the south — and a location tucked between the country’s finest wine regions — it boasts some spectacularly good eateries. When business ends, consider a visit to the nearby wine regions, and be sure to sample the product while in Wellington. Known for both its craft beers and coffee, a wealth of choices for business meetings includes a full meal or just a fast espresso.
For the hip and happening and a plethora of options for that business lunch or breakfast, head to Cuba Street. Loretta offers an award-winning modern décor and far-from-ordinary food, along with a good list of wines available by the glass or bottle. Open Tuesday through Sunday, intriguing treats include open-faced broccoli, feta, sunflower and pumpkin seed sandwiches and date, banana, cashew and chocolate coconut milk smoothies. Quirky and fun Fidel’s Café calls itself “a bohemian bastion on upper Cuba Street,” serving food and drink amid a fabulously eclectic décor for more than 20 years.
Wellington’s waterfront offers a beautifully walkable public space dotted with cafés, parks, sculptures, bars and ice cream vendors. It makes for a primo spot for a casual business meeting. If the weather is fine, grab a gourmet coffee and hang out for a bit at Frank Kitts Park.
The Museum of New Zealand, or Te Papa Tongarewa, charges no entrance fee and offers a fascinating look into this diverse country. Collection areas cover Taonga Māori, Pacific cultures, history, photography, art, botany and zoology. But perhaps its most bizarre attraction is the world’s largest specimen of the rare colossal squid, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds.
One of the city’s most iconic sights you won’t want to miss is the bright red Wellington Cable Car. The vehicular rail runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, guaranteeing some of the best views of Wellington.
If there’s time, a visit to Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary offers a look into the country’s flora and fauna, including 40 species of birds, dozens of reptiles and hundreds of plants. Volunteer guides help make the most of your visit.
The Lord of the Rings aficionados won’t want to miss a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the imagination and artistry behind some of the world’s most spectacular movies at the Weta Cave mini museum, right where the special effects wizardry happens.
THE LABELS ON SOME OF TODAY’S wine bottles sport a relatively new vocabulary, one that explains how the grapes were grown and made into wine. They include such terms as sustainable, organic and biodynamic, among others, and they warrant some explanation. Were the grapes grown by sustainable farming? Were they sprayed with organic fertilizers? Is the wine biodynamic? A number of the terms are new to many consumers. Some are controlled by the U.S. government; others are not. For simple definitions of this relatively new vocabulary, consider the following.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Much like cities around the world, San Francisco closed its museums and performing arts venues temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, those sheltering in place can experience many of these cultural institutions from the comfort of their own homes. Here are the places opening their doors remotely.
Data analytics and consumer intelligence company J.D. Power conducted a survey on the response of the travel industry to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey of 1,633 business and leisure travelers in the past year was conducted March 12–13. In general, those surveyed have faith in the travel industry and are satisfied with the industry’s response to the pandemic thus far.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.
Seoul Convention Bureau is poised for a strong bounce back from the COVID-19 virus. The company rolled out a new PLUS SEOUL program to offer extra support to the meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibition industry in response to the virus.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Japan National Tourism Organization While would-be travelers around the world are self-isolating and putting travel plans on hold, Japan Nation Tourism Organization sends the fun home. While everyone’s wanderlust grows, JNTO offers virtual experiences showcasing the best of the island country.