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EXCLUSIVE: Will Australia’s ‘holiday at home’ push hurt Aotearoa?

Australia will spend $20 million this year in an emotive push to persuade its citizens to holiday at home and so help local tourism counter the effects of a horror summer.

Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year message comes just as new figures show Tourism New Zealand’s Good Morning World campaign resonating strongly with our biggest tourism market and doubling the number of Aussies considering New Zealand as a holiday destination.

Since it was launched in June last year, the Good Morning World series has become TNZ’s highest performing campaign, with marketing director Brodie Reid saying that a figure of 2.1 million Australians considering New Zealand for a holiday “blew out of the water” the target TNZ set for itself.

Now, facing a protracted China travel ban decimating our second-biggest visitor market, New Zealand is having to contend with Australia’s sudden shift towards supporting its own.

AccomNews asked TNZ CEO Stephen England-Hall whether he sees Australia’s approach as a threat to Aotearoa’s tourism, or if he adopts a more ‘in the trenches’ approach.

He said: “Our thoughts are very much with our Australian neighbours and we wish them all the best with their campaign to encourage domestic visitation.

“Australia is an incredibly important market for New Zealand and is our largest, accounting for over 600,000 holiday arrivals in the year ending November 2019.

“Our Good Morning World campaign is performing extremely well in the Australian market, with preference for a New Zealand holiday amongst Australians at a five-year high.

“The global tourism market was already becoming increasingly competitive with economic conditions and uncertainty from events like Brexit and the China/USA trade war influencing consumers’ travel decisions.

“The coronavirus is now having an additional impact on global travel patterns and will result in increased competition amongst destinations to attract high value visitors in the near and long-term future.”

England-Hall says TNZ is working to counter international threats to our tourism market and is encouraging Kiwis to do some ‘holidaying at home’ of their own.

“While international visitor arrival growth was already softening in New Zealand, we have been seeing an increase in domestic tourism over the last year, with more Kiwis wanting to get out and explore their own backyard.

“This is fantastic and something we would like to see increase especially now given more Australians might be holidaying at home and as we see the impacts of the coronavirus play out.

“Tourism New Zealand, alongside the sector and Government, is closely monitoring these impacts and we are working on a response plan to alleviate these impacts which will look at how we can encourage growth from other markets.”

Despite the challenges, a 1500 percent increase in social search over five months following the launch of the Good Morning World campaign bodes well in Aotearoa’s scrap for international visitors.

“This is the highest performing campaign we’ve ever done, from both a long-term brand building perspective and a short-term motivation,” Brodie Reid he told AdNews.

The people-led series runs over 365 days until June 16 and was created following research from TNZ that found the “Kiwi spirit” was a draw for visitors and fitted well with the nation’s famous 100 percent Pure tag.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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