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Social media campaign breaks backpacker barriers

Today’s backpackers are a discerning bunch on the lookout for authentic, inspirational experiences. Data shows they also research heavily before choosing a destination and much of this is done via social media and influenced by other people’s experiences.

So how do you reach and resonate with backpackers around the globe looking for their next destination?  Tourism New Zealand launched a new innovative campaign today featuring some backpacking social media influencers. The content follows the adventures of the group as they travel across New Zealand undertaking a range of activities and challenges. The campaign is expected to reach over 850k backpackers in our three core markets, the UK, Germany and Australia.

Tourism New Zealand Marketing Manager, Special Interest Tony Rogers says, “Backpackers want assurance that a destination offers a range of things to see and do, that getting around is easy and that they will have a truly memorable experience. The new campaign content is fast paced, dynamic and seeks to address any barriers a backpacker might have about choosing New Zealand.”

“It uses real life backpackers with an existing social media presence to produce an authentic experience. Research tells us that backpackers don’t connect with traditional tourism marketing, they are influenced by real experiences from people who have visited a destination who give can give a trustworthy recommendation.”

Backpackers are defined as 18-24 year old visitors, they account for over 195k visitors to New Zealand a year and tend to stay longer and spend more than the average visitor.

“The value of the backpacker goes far beyond arrival numbers and expenditure.  More than any other visitor the backpacker tends to travel across different regions and gets involved in a range of activities and spend more while they are here. The backpacker also tends to travel throughout the year and presents a strong opportunity to grow shoulder season arrivals.”

“Backpackers also share their experiences via social media – with around 70% posting about their travels. We know that the single biggest driver of choosing a holiday destination is recommendation from friends and family, this ‘sharing’ plays an incredibly important role in New Zealand continuing to attract people.”

Patrick Muntzinger a seasoned German backpacker featured in the campaign, says “New Zealand is the perfect destination for every backpacker. Backpacking New Zealand is also super safe and easy thanks to its extensive travel infrastructure, including hostels, transport and activities.

“These days the internet is the top source of information for every traveller. The times where people got their travel information and inspiration from guidebooks are gone. Social media is a great way to show travel destinations because it supports fast and efficient distribution of images and videos.”

The snappy video campaign will cleverly target backpackers via instagram and facebook. Target audiences will first receive content designed to get them thinking about New Zealand as a destination. People who interact with this content will then be presented with additional content designed to encourage planning and booking.

Backpacker visitor facts

  • Backpackers make up 10% of our holiday arrivals (195k)
  • Backpackers contribute 14% of international visitor spend spend ($904m)
  • On average backpackers visit 4 plus regions. More than any other visitor.
  • Backpackers contribute 19% of stay days (5.6m)
  • A backpackers average length of stay is 29 days
  • Source: International visitor survey June 2017