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Air New Zealand in our work to leverage the country’s connection

to Middle-earth. It was our final year of the Hobbit movie trilogy

and we saved the best for last. We jointly hosted 150 of the world’s

biggest Hobbit fans on the journey of a lifetime to New Zealand

in November. Then we built a full-sized Hobbit hole and garden

in a hotel room at Claridge’s in London as a key attraction for

international media covering the world-wide première of the

final film.

The resulting media coverage from these two activities was some

$35 million, generated from the 40 media outlets that journeyed

with the Hobbit Fan Fellowship and the 100 media that chose

our Hobbit room as the backdrop to their broadcasts during the

première.

We also worked in partnerships with NZ Inc agencies and the

country’s network of Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) to

leverage major events hosted here. The ICC Cricket World Cup

created a unique opportunity to promote New Zealand as a

visitor destination to an estimated cumulative one billion people

who watched the event, particularly those in India, the UK and

Australia, generating $4.3 million estimated advertising value.

Hard on its heels came the FIFA U-20 Football World Cup providing

a useful entry into the Latin American market. In both instances,

Tourism New Zealand worked closely with the RTOs to deliver a

diverse programme of activities and an exceptional media hosting

programme, generating $2.1 million equivalent advertising value.

Tier one markets: Australia, China and USA

A key strategic outcome for the organisation is to grow a portfolio

of markets that drives current opportunities and creates future

market positions. Our tier one markets have all delivered

exceptional growth over the past year.

Whilst Australia is undoubtedly a mature travel market for

New Zealand, we achieved a 4.0 per cent increase in total arrivals,

and holiday arrivals up 3.3 per cent. We continued and extended

the use of the highly successful joint venture ‘touring’ campaigns,

teaming up with key operators and RTOs the length of the country

to encourage visitors to explore the regions and thereby distribute

their time and spending more widely.

As part of our annual Australian ski marketing activity we took

the ‘selfie’ phenomenon to a whole new level with the #NZDronie

campaign where visitors were able to share a unique eight-second

video captured by the drone. The #NZDronie hit the slopes for

the 2014 ski season and was promoted across Australia. It was so

successful that we brought it back for the 2015 ski season.

We hosted more than 220 travel agents for six days and were

chosen as host of the Qantas Holidays and Viva! Holidays Global

Achievers Event, bringing a further 100 of Australia’s top selling

travel agents to the country.

Tourism New Zealand’s goal in China is to grow the higher-value

Free Independent Traveller (FIT) sector. Average length of holiday

stay has moved from 7.6 days to 8.1 and we have achieved 41 per

cent growth in the number of general visitor visas being issued,

representing the more independent, longer staying, higher value

traveller segment. We are achieving this with a 30.3 per cent

increase in total arrivals.

Julian Apse

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