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March the month for inspiring Chinese travellers to choose New Zealand

The third phase of Tourism New Zealand's opinion leader campaign in China kicked off mid-March with 'Yao Chen's 100% revival tour'.

It builds on the previous two phases of activity where consumers were able to follow multi-award winning actress and New Zealand 'ambassador' Yao Chen on her New Zealand travels before being prompted to experience their own revival tour.

Acting General Manager Asian Markets Kate Necklen says the use of opinion leaders is about using Chinese influencers to tell the New Zealand story to Chinese people.

"The activity to date has driven record numbers of visits to newzealand.com and a high number of referrals.

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"Our research also tells us that the connection between New Zealand and the key brand attributes of 'have fun and enjoy yourself', 'a popular destination', 'a place that people like me want to visit' and 'relax and feel rejuvenated' have increased to all time highs in China."

This time around the campaign will present 'Yao Chen's New Zealand' in the context of the four emotional benefits delivered in a holiday here - happiness, relaxation, excitement and romance.

Campaign pages on newzealand.com allow users to select their most desired emotion before being shown unique New Zealand holidays to suit, as experienced by Yao Chen.

The users are also given suggested itineraries and products, airfare offers and New Zealand operators' information to drive a desire to travel, into actual bookings.

Kate says, "Our research tells us that Chinese travellers want a holiday destination where they can feel happy, relaxed, rejuvenated."

The campaign is being run with partners Air New Zealand, China Southern Airlines and Singapore Airlines as well as local travel agents and New Zealand operators to offer deals and conversion opportunities.

An additional Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand joint venture campaign will run alongside Yao Chen's 100% revival tour, further utilising Yao Chen and fellow Air NZ opinion leader Kevin Tsai - who are number one and five respectively on the massive Chinese micro-blog site Weibo.

By describing the 100% Pure New Zealand experiences of the two opinion leaders, the campaign aims to generate bookings over the low season.

"By partnering with others we can extend the reach and influence of our campaigns."

Both campaigns will run through to the end of June.