Capturing the influential Youth market

A strategic focus of all our activity is prioritising markets and sectors for growth. As many of you will have heard during this morning's webinar session, the Youth market is one of these key sectors.

Aged 18-29, and accounting for nearly 25 per cent of annual visitor arrivals, the Youth market represent significant opportunity.  They have the potential to stay longer, travel widely and get involved in a range of activities, meaning they have the potential to spend more while they are here. They also present future tourism opportunities as they are more likely to return to New Zealand later in life.

Since 2010, we have increased our presence within this influential sector.

We have established a dedicated youth team, developed a specific youth strategy and are working more closely with the youth focused industry in New Zealand and off-shore, including STA Travel and the Backpacker, Youth and Adventure Travel Association (BYATA) to target youth in the UK, Germany, USA and Canada because these markets currently present the biggest opportunities.

25% of our annual visitor arrivals are aged 18-29

We are also focusing on transient backpackers in Australia to encourage them to add New Zealand onto their travel plans given they are so close. In the future, this will be extended to include Asian markets.

While we know that a holiday in New Zealand is better than expected for youth travellers, our research tells us that it is not always high on their list when planning a trip. This is the key barrier to travel that we are working to address.

All activity aims to improve the perception of New Zealand and demonstrate how it is a fun and popular place to visit. This work sits alongside the  100% Pure New Zealand campaign by showing how it is the combination of activities, landscape and people that make a uniquely New Zealand experience.

The central driving idea is the proposition that 'There is too much to miss', both in life and in New Zealand. This has been rolled out in our first activity Stories Beat Stuff.

While we know that a holiday in New Zealand is better than expected for youth travellers, our research tells us that it is not always high on their list when planning a trip.

Running for 12-18 months, Stories Beat Stuff challenges youth to give up their stuff for the chance to win one of six experiences of a lifetime. Asking the question, 'what would you trade for the story of a lifetime?', the initiative is based on the idea that amazing life experiences surpass material possessions for young people.

Central to all campaign activity is the use of digital media and social marketing to maximise the way young people share information and create an ongoing dialogue amongst themselves across markets.

The campaign pages on are fully integrated with social media, facebook, twitter and youtube, which enabled the winners of the first two experiences, Summer Rythym and Beaches and Boats, to share their stories while in New Zealand, providing a firsthand account of just how cool New Zealand is.

This was hugely successful over the first phase of activity generating a combined 350,000 unique visits to the campaign pages on and 100% Pure facebook page, as well as more than 250,000 YouTube views.

The competition's next two experiences will be launched late April and will widen the offer to four friends to increase the opportunity to share their experiences across a wider online audience.

To learn more about the Youth market, keep up to date with latest activity and to access the range of resources developed to help you engage with the market, check out our Youth sector pages on our corporate site.

Justin Watson

Director of Trade, PR and Major Events