Jonas George, Air Vanuatu; Michael Shah, Langham Auckland Jonas George, Air Vanuatu; Michael Shah, Langham Auckland

SKAL celebrates 4th of July

Memphis and Nashville are two destinations that agents should be promoting to clients who have already done the West Coast and major cities in the United States, Consul General Melanie Higgins told SKAL Auckland yesterday.

But when it comes to a place a little more off the beaten Kiwi track, Savannah, Georgia comes up tops for the diplomat.

Higgins was a guest speaker at the SKAL Auckland lunch, which had a 4th of July theme, despite being held a couple of days later.

‘The new Air New Zealand flight to Houston has given the southern states a big boost,’ says the Atlanta Georgia-born Higgins.

‘A lot of New Zealanders know the US for its great beaches, its amusement parks, its shopping and big cities like New York and Los Angeles.

‘Memphis is the home of Elvis and Nashville has the midwest charm. They both have great barbecues and I’m hearing a lot (in this market about those two places.

‘But Savannah is fantastic - it has the beautiful southern hospitality but it is also home to the Savannah College of Art and Design – so southern charm meets the modern edgy art world.’

When it comes to national parks, Higgins’ mind heads to Utah – Canyonlands number one, Bryce National Park runner-up and the Arches in at third place.

And her favourite New Zealand activity? Zorbing.

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