Tourism New Zealand would consider a targeted, cruise specific campaign when the numbers justified it and the timing was right, according to chief executive Stephen England-Hall.
Speaking at the NZ Cruise Association’s annual conference in Auckland this week, England-Hall said cruise was already a part of the marketing body’s promotional work and the time when something specific could be launched could be approaching.
“From a Tourism New Zealand advertising and marketing or campaign perspective, we typically focus on selling the whole of the New Zealand experience,” said England-Hall.
“As people start to plan and book their holidays to New Zealand we start to pick up on the things those people are interested in. Cruise, like cycling, like golfing, feeds into that planning and booking phase of our marketing campaign.”
England-Hall doubted Tourism New Zealand would ever commit to a global cruise campaign but when asked if a targeted, market-specific promotion similar to the current cycling effort in Australia was something that could be considered, he answered: “Potentially, yes, when the numbers are at the right level.”
“Part of that is the alignment of the sector with what we are trying to do at different times of the year with different markets. Part of it is timing – when can we get the biggest bang for our dollar – and I’m sure that time is coming,” said England-Hall.
Before a crowd of more than two hundred industry professionals at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Tuesday, England-Hall said Tourism New Zealand had a 23-year long history of working with the cruise industry.
“That is about supporting the whole process of familiarisation, representing NZ at major international events, standing shoulder-to-sholder with the industry as we showcase NZ on the world stage,” said England-Hall.
The cruise industry fits well with Tourism New Zealand’s core strategy of seasonal and regional dispersal with a number of popular ports based in the regions.
“If port days can be increased in the regions, that’s a fantastic outcome for New Zealand,” said England-Hall.
From a global perspective, 26 million people a year experiencing cruise was “mind-boggling”.
“To put that in context, last year 12 million more Chinese people went on an overseas holiday than the year before. In terms of the opportunity for this industry, it’s massive.”