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Digital channels remain important to driving preference for New Zealand as a destination

Digital channels including

, digital brand campaigns and social media platforms all play important

roles in driving preference for New Zealand amongst active considerers. Tourism New Zealand monitors the levels of

connection with target audiences through a range of measures focused on engagement and interaction with active


Tourism New Zealand’s online channels continued to perform strongly in the year ending June 2017, building on the

previous year’s strong performance. Continued strong preference for New Zealand in priority markets has supported the

effective acquisition of traffic to

, both paid (search engine marketing, online display advertising etc.)

and organic (natural or algorithm-driven results).

Online visitors to


YE June 2015

YE June 2016

YE June 2017

Average number of total visits to

per month




Average monthly ‘active visits’ to




Strategic priority three: Focus marketing activity on clearly defined high value visitors

Tourism New Zealand’s mandate is to grow the value of international tourism for the long-term benefit of New Zealand.

It achieves this through strategies targeting high value visitors, ensuring marketing messages resonate with target

segments and sectors, and encouraging high value visitors to stay longer and visit more of New Zealand.

Visitor value can take several forms: for example, staying in New Zealand for a long time, travelling widely through New

Zealand dispersing the economic benefit, spending more per night or per trip, travelling to New Zealand outside the peak

season, or becoming an advocate for New Zealand and driving subsequent trips.

Research carried out by Tourism New Zealand has identified high value segments within New Zealand’s prioritised

markets and these segments are the basis of Tourism New Zealand’s targeted strategies.

As well as focusing on valuable segments within key markets, higher value visitors are also targeted through the business

events sector. Increasing market development, partnership and campaign activity has accelerated outcomes within this

sector. The importance of this sector will continue to increase as New Zealand’s convention infrastructure improves with

the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland due to be completed in 2019, as well as additional facilities

proposed for Christchurch and Wellington.

There has been a focus on targeting ‘premium’ visitors who inject significant revenue into the economy. Through

dedicated resources and focus, high net worth individuals have been targeted in North America, Europe/UK and Asia

leveraging New Zealand’s best accommodation and attractions that appeal to this small but very valuable segment of the


Research has also shown that promoting special interest travel can attract visitors who spend more and stay longer.

Tourism New Zealand has identified special interest opportunities in priority markets including ski/snow, golf, hiking/

walking and cycling.

International visitor spend

International visitor spend remained static at $10.25 billion for the year ending June 2017, but was accompanied by

a decline in average spend per visitor (down 8% to $3170). The decline followed a period of exceptionally high spend

per visitor in 2016 (up 18% from FY15). A potential contributing factor may be exchange rate fluctuations, as the NZD

appreciated against a number of currencies in the past year.

Looking at a three-year period (FY15-FY17), total arrivals are up 30% while total visitor spend is up 17%. Long-term

forecasts for spend remain positive and total visitor spend is expected to exceed $15 billion per annum by 2023 (Source:

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Economic Development).

At the top end of the market, data from Tourism New Zealand and Luxury Lodges of New Zealand shows the premium

market spend for the year ending March 2017 grew by an impressive 42% on last year. While the premium market visitors

tend to travel year-round, luxury accommodation spend was most prominent in the peak summer period (October to

March) with a 46% increase on the 2016 summer period, while winter spend grew 15% on the previous year