Driving value from the international backpacker market

International backpackers travelling through Australia are the target of Tourism New Zealand’s latest backpacker campaign encouraging more of these valuable visitors to cross the ditch and visit New Zealand. 

Backpackers are defined as 18-24 year old visitors, and they currently represent approximately 11 per cent of total holiday visitors (159,000), 21 per cent of total holiday stay days and account for over $593 million in expenditure.

In the year ending December 2014, Australia attracted around 590,000 international backpacker arrivals of which 4 per cent of these visitors then went on to travel to New Zealand.

What this tells us is that there is a significant group of backpackers that are coming as far as Australia and are leaving without visiting New Zealand. With an average spend per visitor of over $3,600, our new activity will focus on targeting these backpackers to make sure they don’t leave without seeing New Zealand.

It’s important to note that the value of the backpacker goes beyond arrivals and expenditure. The backpacker visitor stays on average 31.3 days – significantly more than your average holiday visitor. They participate in more paid activities, travel more widely throughout the regions and outside the peak season, making them a great value target market for New Zealand.

Through Tourism New Zealand’s global partnership with Facebook, our digital marketing will be more targeted than ever before with a Facebook campaign that geo-targets international visitors in Australia and then identifies backpackers by their demographics and travel behaviour.

This high level of targeting will allow us to deliver campaign messages specific to backpackers that inspire them, with experiences and offers, to visit New Zealand after Australia. What’s more we will be able to track how many of these backpackers actually end up coming to New Zealand. 

The campaign will use the ‘Play More Every Day’ proposition which highlights the amazing range of experiences that are on offer in New Zealand all within such close reach of one another.

In addition to the Facebook campaign, we will continue to work with our global partner STA Travel to help convert interest into bookings.