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TNZ’s Premium Sector strategy

Over the past six months Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has significantly increased its focus on the lucrative premium travel sector.

Since I started with Tourism New Zealand in September, we have continued a high level of engagement with the industry's premium stakeholders, improving our understanding of this niche sector and building a robust strategic approach to growing the sectors arrivals and spend while in New Zealand.

This activity follows the Government's 2013/14 Budget announcement of an additional $123 million in funding for TNZ over four years, with $20 million over four years specifically tagged to growing the premium sector.

In the last month we have reached a number of milestones, completing our recruitment of the new Premium Sector team both in New Zealand and offshore and finalising our Premium Strategy.

Alongside TNZ's Three Year Marketing Strategy, the Premium Strategy specifically outlines our key understandings and outlines our activity to develop the lucrative global premium travel sector in New Zealand.

Our first step was to define the sector and target audience. We identified that the biggest growth opportunities exist in the top 10 per cent of the world's wealthy - the Very and Ultra High Net-Worth Individuals with liquid assets of US$5-30 million plus. Travellers in this segment can spend $50k per visit, with some capable of spending $100k or more.  (*source: 2013 World Wealth Report)

With an average daily spend much greater than what an average visitor spends ($2,500) during their entire visit, these high value visitors have the potential to provide an economic benefit beyond that gained from just tourism.

However, our target audience is not necessarily the High Net-worth individual themselves. This is because they rely on trusted advisors to recommend and organise their travel.

Therefore our activity will be focused on both the consumer and the influencer through niche marketing channels, to tell our story of New Zealand as a premium destination, with targeted engagement with key media outlets, trade and industry partners.

We will continue to work closely with the industry's premium operators to ensure this niche is developed to its full potential, leveraging New Zealand's luxury accommodation, transport providers, unique and tailored experiences and attractions.

To maximise the effectiveness of our activity offshore, we will initially focus on markets where TNZ and the New Zealand premium travel industry have strong existing market knowledge. You will find more on these markets in the strategy itself.

As part of our rolling marketing plan we will undertake a mixture of trade and consumer activities, creating premium sector assets such as content and tools, while increasing destination New Zealand's presence in the luxury sector via partnerships, trade presence and key event support.

Work is currently underway to build a library of premium images and collateral.

Using the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, our activity will tell compelling stories of New Zealand's unique style of luxury as it is - rugged and indulgent, diverse and intimate, tranquil and exciting, authentic and understated.

We are committed to continuing to grow our knowledge and understanding of the sector with on-going research and sector engagement, and look forward to keeping you updated with our progress.

Sam Russell

Sector Manager Premium - Tourism New Zealand