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Welcoming superyachts with open arms

At an average spend of $2.7m tourism dollars per yacht - why wouldn't we? 

Identifying and targeting high-value visitors with our strategic partners is crucial to growing the lucrative premium sector.

Last month we announced our latest partnership - this time with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and NZ Marine to formalise an active campaign to attract superyachts to New Zealand.

The 'Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative' sees us combine our efforts to jointly promote New Zealand as a destination for superyachts.

Growing the burgeoning superyacht sector supports our focus to drive high-end tourism. Targeting these high net worth individuals to come and experience not only the 15,000km of unspoilt coastline, but also our unique and diverse range of luxury products, experiences and culture is a core part of our marketing strategy to increase arrivals and spend while in New Zealand.

The value the superyacht industry delivers to the New Zealand economy is significant because of its potential to inject high-spend across tourism and marine industries. For example, in 2013 it is estimated that there were 662 visiting yachts that sailed to New Zealand. Of these, roughly 35 superyachts brought approximately $185 million dollars of marine industry spend and $95 million dollars of tourism spend to the country.

These visitors also originate from a number of our core markets -17 per cent are from Australia, 16 per cent from the UK, 17 per cent from Germany and 33 per cent from the US. These are also some of the primary target markets of our premium sector activity, identified due to their high proportion of high net worth individuals, and centres where both Tourism New Zealand and our New Zealand travel partners have the most experience and greatest opportunity to convert interest into travel.

Each of the organisations in the superyacht working group brings their own set of expertise and channels to deliver value across both the tourism and marine industries.

The core goal of the group is to create awareness around the logistics and benefits of coming to New Zealand, supported by presence at key international boat shows and regular interactions with industry media and influencers.

To achieve these goals there are three key focus areas: promoting New Zealand as a cruising destination for private and charter yachts; promoting the expanding infrastructure and facilities within New Zealand and overseas; and promoting the capabilities of the refit, repair and manufacturing sectors.

Our role within the group is to improve awareness of New Zealand as a cruising and chartering destination, and we will undertake this across three core streams of activity.

Firstly, as with all of our activity, this starts with establishing the core materials - developing destination content with a tailored hub on our consumer site newzealand.com, alongside building a library of images, content and promotional collateral. Activity to target selected superyacht magazines and media is also underway, including advertising using the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, and bringing key publications to New Zealand via our International Media Programme to experience and write about our unique offering.

We are already seeing some great results, with a number of key publications covering our announcement of the working group, including: SuperyachtTimes.com,MegayachtNews.comThe Howorths and YachtCharterFleet.com. Our announcement is currently the most read item for April on SuperyachtNews.com which reaches over 33,000 readers a month.

Secondly, we will engage with key decision-makers and travel sellers to convert interest in sailing around New Zealand into actual visits. This will see the Premium Sector team host famils with captains and travel sellers and attend key trade shows, such as the Monaco and Fort Lauderdale boat shows. We know from experience that attending these events delivers significant results, opening communication lines with influencers and decision makers.

Thirdly, we will work with the New Zealand industry to ensure they are best placed to deliver to superyacht visitors' needs, undertaking training programmes, research, and developing sample itineraries and tools.

Our activity will showcase the numerous experiences and adventures that await our target audience on a sailing trip to New Zealand via 'Everyday is new - Accessible diversity'.

An exciting opportunity exists to extract significant value from the lucrative superyacht industry and visitor market for New Zealand. By aligning closely with our own focus to attract high value visitors, and undertaking our clear path of activity that is already underway, we are confident that working collaboratively with the working group we can effectively grow the sector.

For the latest updates on our progress keep an eye on our corporate website.

Justin Watson

Director of Trade, PR and Major Events