Tourism New Zealand has emphasised the importance it is placing on attracting tourists drawn here by their special interests, such as: skiing, fishing, golf, walking & hiking, wine, and increasingly, cycling.
In a recent TNZ webinar broadcast to those in the industry, marketing manager – Sectors, Chris Atkinson, covered some key aspects of several priority areas of tourism that potential tourists have a special interest or high passion for and that drives their travel decision.
She said TNZ research clearly shows that those who travel for special interests tend to stay longer and spend more. “We’re really internationally known for our walking products. We’re perceived as being compelling in that space. What we’re needing to do is drive that sense of compelling for the other special interests that we’re focusing on.”
Ms Atkinson said the leisure cycle trails segment is now at the beginning of the curve with the infrastructure still being built, “so we’re not overly well known yet, apart from mountain biking. But in terms of cycling for leisure for example, that’s where we’ve got the product offering being developed.
“The primary audience we’re seeking is active boomers, 45+, particularly in Australia, the UK, the USA and Germany. We have a fantastic product in all of our cycling trails. The proximity of those, and the diversity, is something that’s really unique to New Zealand.
“There’s also proximity to other activities – what we call cycling plus.” She said those could include winery visits and activities such as the ice sport of curling. There is an indoor curling facility at Naesby, near Ranfurly in central Otago, close to the central Otago cycle trail.