Tourism New Zealand will launch a single-region campaign in the South Island following the success of its pilot Northland campaign.
The government agency said that the two-month campaign to attract visitors from Australia’s Victoria to the far north resulted in an increase in arrivals and spend, outstripping growth from the rest of Australia.
It added that this showed that “regional dispersal is possible through targeted marketing,”.
The results included data from campaign partner, Flight Centre, which reported a 40% increase in passengers booked to Northland.
A second partner, Facebook, observed a 6% increase in visitors to Northland from Victoria after exposure to Northland advertising on Facebook for the period of March – May 2017.
This lift was measured against a representative control group that did not see any ads.
In terms of arrivals, total arrivals from the State of Victoria across New Zealand were up 18% for the same period, showing “that the regional campaign benefitted not just Northland but all of New Zealand” according to TNZ.
Spend by Victorian credit cards in Northland was up 18.2%, compared with rest of Australia cards in Northland up 3.6%.
As well as targeting a new South Island region, TNZ plans to run a second campaign in Northland which was selected as the test region due to its proximity to the Auckland international gateway and “the range of visitor experiences that fit with the wider New Zealand marketing campaign,”.
TNZ chief executive, Stephen England-Hall, said: “The pilot was the first Tourism New Zealand campaign focused on a single region to test whether we can influence a shift in travel patterns toward our less visited regions.”
“We are focused on encouraging more international visitors to the regions to share the economic benefits tourism delivers. The results of this test proved that yes we can and will be incorporated into our future work, as well as shared with industry to support theirs.”
The Northland campaign ran for a two-month period from late January to March 2017 reaching 1.5 million Australians in the State of Victoria.
It was run in conjunction with Northland Inc, Facebook, Flight Centre and Air New Zealand.
It featured Facebook and outdoor advertising showcasing iconic Northland scenes such as Tane Mahuta and the Bay of Islands, and was backed up by trade and PR activities.
England-Hall added: “International visitors are spending around $40 million every day, which delivers significant benefits to communities across New Zealand. Visitors spend locally as they travel across the country through accommodation and activities such as buying meals, renting cars, visiting attractions, or equipment.”
“Tourism also provides significant employment in New Zealand, with one in ten people employed in the industry. It’s one of the country’s biggest employers and for some communities like Northland, this is essential.
“It is fantastic to see that with specific, targeted partnership activity we can direct the consumer into our lesser visited regions, helping more regions to benefit from tourism.”