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Bloggers using Māori artwork to inspire German backpackers

A Māori art workshop with social media experts proved an effective way to reach the German backpacker market, with the bloggers sharing their own kōwhaiwhai inspired designs.

The one day workshop in Berlin organised by Tourism New Zealand was a creative way to raise awareness about New Zealand as a destination that has more to offer than landscapes and adventures.

Pip Casey, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager, Europe said: “For German backpackers, we know that social media is one of the most powerful sources of inspiration when choosing a travel destination, second only to recommendations from family and friends.

“We wanted to introduce these influential young Germans to the incredible culture and world class food that we have to offer, above and beyond the stunning landscapes that we are known for.”

Backpackers, 18 – 24 year olds are an important segment of the German market and have a strong interest in Māori culture, seeking an experience they can’t get anywhere else.

With the help of Taaniko and Vienna Nordstrom, stylists from Waikato company Soldiers Road, the bloggers learned about Maori history and culture with Taaniko and Vienna sharing their experiences of modern day  Māori culture and explaining the meaning behind different kōwhaiwhai design elements.

The bloggers then created their own personal designs with the patterns then lasered on to backpacks for each participant. The day finished with a Kiwi-style BBQ and drinks, showcasing New Zealand products.

The 19 bloggers have a combined reach of 289,000 followers and the workshop has so far generated 71 pieces of coverage.

Travel and lifestyle blogger Amandine Hach said the workshop was a beautiful event with Taaniko and Vienna inspiring everyone with their stories and passion. “It was nice to think about traditional identity in general. Creating our own backpack designs was very exciting.”

Germany is New Zealand’s second largest European market. German visitors travel more widely in New Zealand than any other visitors and stay longer, with an average holiday stay of 42 days. The number of Germans choosing New Zealand for a holiday increased by nearly 15 per cent in the year ending June 2017, up to 77,584 visitors. An increasing number of Germans are considering a spring holiday in New Zealand which is a key target for Tourism New Zealand to increases shoulder season travel.