This week saw the culmination of our Australian 'Make History' campaign, with the wedding of the first Australian same-sex couple in Wellington. The campaign was developed to capitalise on the attention New Zealand gained by passing the Marriage Amendment Bill in April this year. And it has done just that, with impressive coverage generated to raise the profile of New Zealand as a wedding and honeymoon destination for anyone and everyone.
We had already achieved great success in attracting Australians across the ditch to enjoy our skiing and other winter activities, with our annual Australian Ski campaignwrapping up five months of activity in June. You can read more here about how the activity exceeded all campaign objectives, with strong referral rates and traffic tonewzealand.com proving how well it engaged with keen skiers right through to general winter holiday makers.
As we have moved through the colder months it is positive to see that visitor arrivals and spend have remained strong. Last week the International Visitor Survey (IVS) for year-ending June 2013 confirmed total visitor spend was maintained at $5.5 billion, reflecting an improvement in visitor spend for the first six-months of the calendar year. Looking to arrivals, early indications for international arrivals in July, released tomorrow, continue to show positive numbers across most of our key markets.
The IVS also reported that our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign has continued to provide additional motivation and reason to travel to New Zealand. Consistent with the previous survey results, 8.4 per cent of all international visitors say The Hobbit was a factor in their decision to visit New Zealand.
This is very encouraging as we gear up to release the latest edition of our '100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand' campaign with the reveal of our new commercial at the TEC Conference in Masterton on Thursday. If you are not attending the conference, be sure to keep an eye on our website to check it out. The new commercial has been evolved to engage with a wider and more specific target audience while continuing to demonstrate that what people see in the cinema as the fantasy world of Middle-earth is actually a real place just waiting to be explored.
The strong results seen in this snap-shot of campaign activity confirms the strength of our 100% Pure New Zealand marketing campaign - and just how adaptable it is across all markets and media. Whether it is used to promote New Zealand as a ski destination or for weddings and honeymoons, 100% Pure New Zealand continues to effectively promote our tourism offering and unique combination of landscapes, people and activities cannot be found anywhere else in the world.