News & Activity

Friday, May 24, 2024

Tourism New Zealand targets $5B tourism growth driven by off-peak

Tourism New Zealand is focusing on growing off-peak visitation to support sustainable and productive growth of the tourism sector.

Tourism New Zealand is focusing on growing off-peak visitation to support sustainable and productive growth of the tourism sector.

The tourism sector’s recovery has been successful, and the sector is now New Zealand’s second largest export, says Chief Executive René de Monchy upon the launch of its new four-year strategy for 2024-2028.

“We’re aiming to grow international tourism by $5B over the next four years, with 70% ($3.5b) of that coming from visitors in the off-peak.

“The government has a goal to double the value of exports in ten years. Tourism’s contribution to this goal presents an opportunity to support exports and the economy as we face tough economic conditions.

Visitor arrivals are returning to old patterns of peaking in summer and without intervention peak visitation is likely to grow faster than off-peak. Seasonal peaks and troughs result in the sector struggling to operate productively year-round.

“Tourism can provide a fast start to the goal of doubling exports as it can be achieved quicker than other sectors and has broader benefits for other sectors. For example, tourism doesn't require a free trade agreements and destination marketing strengthens air connectivity to support growth of export goods.

“Tourism New Zealand will support the governments export growth goals and alleviate the industry's seasonal visitation challenge by growing off-peak visitation alongside its work to support peak visitation,” says de Monchy.

RealNZ Chief Executive Dave Beeche says:

“RealNZ’s offering includes experiences that peak in the summer, like cruises in Fiordland and the TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak in Queenstown, alongside our ski areas Cardrona and Treble Cone which of course focus on a winter adventure. We’ve seen how adjusting our operations into traditional shoulder seasons means we can retain more staff, use our locations more effectively, and lead to a better guest experience – so we’re very supportive of spreading the tourism load across the seasons.”

NZICC General Manager Prue Daly supports Tourism New Zealand’s goal to increase off-peak visitation.

"We believe the business events sector plays a crucial role in this effort. Business event delegates prefer travelling during less busy times to avoid crowded destinations, which enhances their experience and supports seasonality. TNZ’s vision aligns perfectly with the work NZICC is doing, as the majority of international congresses and business events we pursue are scheduled during the off-peak tourism months.”

In FY25 TNZ will target international tourism spend growth of 8.7% equating to an additional $900m.

Also, in FY25 TNZ will target international tourism spend growth in the off-peak of 9.6% equating to $655m.

“FY25 is the first year of our four-year strategy, we’ll focus on building a long-term pipeline of visitors at the same time as we aim to boost off-peak visitation in this year,” says de Monchy.

In the first year of the new strategy, Tourism New Zealand will do this by focusing on three areas:

Brand: Build desire for New Zealand as a year-round destination

  • Then focus on turning that desire into consideration to visit during the off-peak.
  • Showcase New Zealand’s off-peak experiences and our unique culture through authentic storytelling.
  • Look to the future and build our brand as a sustainable destination.

Visitor: Grow off-peak arrivals

  • We will focus all trade activity on converting consideration into off-peak arrivals in FY25.
  • We’ll also work to encourage future year-round flights to support off-peak growth.
  • Our off-peak activity will look different in each market, our work will be varied and adaptable to reach audiences and encourage them to visit in the off-peak.

Sector: Supporting sector sustainability and enhancing the visitor experience.

  • Sustainability is vital to tourism’s success in Aotearoa New Zealand and as New Zealand’s sector continues to recover from the pandemic, the best way we can influence this is by encouraging year-round arrivals to enable businesses to contribute to the economy, their communities and to the environment.
  • We will also aim to grow the number of Qualmark businesses to help the sector become more sustainable, we’ll work to connect off-peak visitors to them, and create demand showcasing visitor experiences in an authentic way.