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Online travel agent campaign a boon for shoulder season

Tourism New Zealand has tested new ground with a shoulder season online campaign in the North American market.

In a bid to continue encouraging travellers to visit New Zealand in the shoulder seasons, Tourism New Zealand partnered with online travel sellers Expedia and Travelzoo to establish digital sales platforms for the New Zealand shoulder season. 

A series of travel deals put forward by US based travel agencies were vetted for relevance and value, and then promoted to US consumers via subscriber emails and an online marketing campaign. 

“Tourism New Zealand has led several online marketing promotions in the past but this was the first time we heavily integrated travel sellers into our approach,” says Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Americas & Europe. 

“By creating a strong digital sales platform with Expedia and Travelzoo we were able to promote New Zealand to millions of potential travellers who had expressed an interest in travelling to Oceania.” 

The campaign ran for two months with travel dates set between September and November 2016 and March to May 2017. US consumers could view a number of travel offerings from partners including Stella Travel Services, About New Zealand, Goway and Down Under Endeavours. 

“This campaign was a first test for us and limited in its scope and timing but we exceeded sales goals. The campaign netted more than 280 bookings, most during the September and October shoulder season, and around US $1.4 million in revenue for the industry. It was a very successful pilot and shows that this approach can work and be built” says Bjoern. 

“We have had excellent feedback from travel partners who took part in this online campaign with many reporting a flow-on effect for their businesses with significant increases in sales year-on-year. Many reported the leads continued beyond the campaign period, which they attributed to increased exposure from the campaign.” 

Tourism New Zealand is due to launch a similar initiative in the coming months that is wider in scope.