With the exception of Argentina these markets have experienced strong economic growth in the past decade resulting in a growing middle class wishing to travel overseas for leisure and education.
Outbound travel from Brazil for example grew 180 per cent between 2006 and 2013, and these travellers characteristically are high spending and long staying. Total visitor numbers to New Zealand from these four Latin American markets in 2014 were just under 26,000.
Tourism New Zealand undertakes a full marketing programme in Brazil (paid promotion, partnership activity, PR and trade engagement) and more limited spans of work in other markets. All four markets have dedicated language specific versions of newzealand.com, i.e. Spanish and Portuguese.
Following the announcement by Air New Zealand that they will fly three days a week between Buenos Aires and Auckland from December 2015, an upgraded scope of work will be undertaken in Argentina from mid-2015. This work will be driven in partnership with Air New Zealand.
Other opportunities to leverage the New Zealand brand in 2015 will exist via event exposure. Included within these are the 2015 FIFA U20s World Cup being hosted around New Zealand, and Argentina’s ongoing involvement in Four Nations Rugby. Also in 2015 a significant exhibition – Tuku Iho presented by the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute will travel to Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Tourism New Zealand will also work closely with New Zealand Inc. partners to target the working holiday (Brazil, Argentina) and education (Brazil, Chile) segments. Focus in Mexico will be exclusively on the premium sector.
Currently only one carrier - LAN Chile - flies directly between New Zealand and Santiago. This service has been upgraded to new B787 aircraft and LAN have indicated the possibility of adding additional services. Qantas also fly directly to Sydney from Santiago, important given the high level of dual destination travel from the region. Mexican visitors travel to New Zealand via Los Angeles and the new Houston services to Auckland (from Dec 2015) will also service the northern regions of South and Central America including Brazil. The introduction of the Air New Zealand services from Buenos Aires however will provide significant additional capacity and competitive alternatives for the underserviced Brazilian and Argentinian markets.