A city-wide treasure hunt to launch a hotel

How one NZ agency worked on a hotel opening with zero tourism and no physical spaces.

Indie PR agency Sling & Stone found itself with a brief from a hotel client to launch a property during a period of closed borders and zero tourism. It's a good thing that the client—QT Auckland—is a brand that wants to "do things differently".

To mark the hotel launch, Sling & Stone had to crack a solution to getting locals excited without using the physical hotel space. So New Zealand's biggest QT Staycay was born, where 150 room keys were 'hidden' across Auckland for people to find, designed as a treasure hunt. Locals can locate QT posters shaped as doors where keys are safely secured within lock boxes, and to win a key, a code must be cracked. Each key converts to a one-night stay which can be redeemed at a later date.

QT Auckland general manager Doron Whaite says: "QT is all about loving local. With a focus on our community, we wanted to surprise Aucklanders with a chance to experience what QT's 'far from ordinary' philosophy is all about. We're spending more time in our own backyard with weekend travel and staycations becoming the norm."

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