A new $500,000 campaign that aims to increase Australian visitors to New Zealand in the autumn is set to launch next week.
Tourism New Zealand has partnered with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) and Destination Marlborough to raise awareness of both places among Australians and to encourage them to visit.
A four-week campaign will run from early February with the aim of increasing the number of arrivals by 7.5% to 7,000 in March to May this year.
The campaign will use digital channels including YouTube and Facebook driving traffic to TNZ’s newzealand.com website.
Australia is New Zealand’s largest inbound tourism market, accounting for almost half of all visitors.
Nearly 600,000 Australian visitors come to New Zealand each year for a holiday, with summer remaining the most popular season for international visitors.
The agency’s chief executive Stephen England-Hall said “Promoting travel in the autumn months is one more example of how we are helping to ease the visitor concentration in summer.”
He added: “New Zealanders think nothing of visiting Sydney or Melbourne for a long weekend. We want Australians to feel the same way about visiting here.
“We need to better inform our neighbours about who we are and what we offer as a country that’s different from what they can do at home.”
Wellington’s creative and cultural attractions and proximity to Marlborough’s vineyards and waterways were selected to showcase a “special offering with plenty of new things to experience”.
WREDA interim chief executive Derek Fry said: “I think this is a very clever campaign. It shows how a colourful New Zealand city break can be used to get visitors to journey a bit further into one of our stunning regions.”
Destination Marlborough general manager Jacqui Lloyd added: “Australia is a key market for Marlborough and this campaign allows us to showcase both regions and lure more Australian visitors to Marlborough after experiencing Wellington.”
The new campaign to help combat seasonality follows the launch in early January of a $3.2m drive to help spread regional growth beyond the popular tourist destinations.
Australia is again the target of the 12-week campaign promoting the West Coast of the South Island and Northland as autumn travel destinations.
It is the second campaign focusing on the destination of Northland following a six-week single-region trial run from February last year.
England-Hall said: “We know from a successful trial we carried out in Northland last year that it’s possible to influence a shift in travel patterns toward our less visited areas. The trial campaign resulted in a 40% increase in flight bookings from the state of Victoria.”
This year’s efforts integrate the West Coast and Northland with marketing is being run in conjunction with Auckland and Christchurch Airports, the regional tourism organisations in Northland and the West Coast, Flight Centre and Air New Zealand.
It includes Facebook and extensive outdoor advertising, backed up by trade and PR activities.
The promotion focuses on the east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which “will be blitzed” with advertising in kiosks, buses and trams and outdoor billboards showcasing images from the two regions.
TNZ worked with advertising agencies Wrestler, Many Minds and Blue 449 on the Wellington/Marlborough campaign.
The Northland/West Coast campaign involved Blue 449 for media, and then Many Minds, The Hatchery and Reel Factory.