The largest event New Zealand will host in the next decade kicks off this week when the World Masters Games opens in Auckland – and the event is about more than just sport.
For Tourism New Zealand, the games are a major opportunity to encourage as many of the international participants, their family and friends, to stay longer and travel further afield in New Zealand before or after the Games.
The Games also provide a platform to showcase New Zealand to the world. Before the event even begins, Tourism New Zealand has produced content that has resulted in 89 stories globally that are helping to promote New Zealand as a tourist destination.
Tourism New Zealand will also continue to explore content and PR opportunities with visiting media throughout the 10 day event.
The World Masters Games are renowned for the social side of the event as well as the sporting competition. René de Monchy, TNZ’s Director of Trade, PR and Major Events says that many participants plan well in advance and see the Games as an opportunity to get together with friends and fellow participants they may have met a previous games to spend time seeing more of New Zealand before or after the games.
“The World Masters Games are another opportunity for New Zealand to demonstrate that we are welcoming, fantastic hosts. We want people to go home with great stories to tell about their time spent in New Zealand, the people they met and the places they visited”.
The timing of the Games fits well with Tourism New Zealand’s efforts to extend the summer peak season, with visitors to the games experiencing New Zealand in the autumn shoulder season. That means fewer people than during the peak season, with less demand on such things as accommodation and rental cars.
Through newzealand.com, Tourism New Zealand is encouraging people coming here for the Games to travel beyond Auckland to experience more regions of New Zealand such as Northland or Hawke’s Bay.
“We have created sample itineraries where people can travel out of Auckland and see more of the country. We want people to make most of the fitness they have built up for the games to also explore New Zealand and experience some of the great adventures we have to offer. For New Zealand, that means more communities are enjoying the benefits from our international visitors,” says René.
The World Masters Games involves athletes ranging from 25 to 60+ with the oldest competitor aged 101. The average competitor is in their mid-forties. This takes in TNZ’s key target age groups of independent professionals through to active, older people, many of whom can stay longer and spend more while they are here.
The athletes will compete across 28 sports at 46 venues throughout the Auckland region and two in the Waikato. The World Masters Games will run for 10 days from 21 April. For more information, visit World Masters Games.