Essential New Zealand – capitalising on the use of digital media

Last week Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) announced the release of its first free mobile app - 'Essential New Zealand'.

The free to download app marks a significant addition to TNZ's suite of digital marketing channels and capitalises on the increased use of mobile devices by visitors while in the country.

With travellers now engaging with digital media prior to and throughout the travel process, mobile is an increasingly important channel for operators. TNZ's 2011-2012 Visitor Experience Monitor showed use of mobile devices had risen dramatically, with travellers using an iPad or laptop up 44 per cent, and use of a smartphone up 28 per cent.

The numbers speak for themselves. In the past year TNZ has seen record traffic attracting more than 14 million visits, with mobile visits up 250 per cent and mobile referrals a staggering 1,000 per cent on the year before.

Essential New Zealand supports the increased demand for mobile information to ensure travel information is readily available across a variety of digital channels. Accessed without the need for a WiFi connection, the app makes it easier for visitors to connect with tourism experiences while on the go.

Designed using robust user research, the appworks in tandem with TNZ's mobile optimised travel website -  Working together, the digital channels maintain a relationship with visitors throughout all stages of their travel lifecycle; from the dreaming and planning stage, through to experiencing and sharing their New Zealand stories.

As an extension of the site the app encourages visitors to do more and see more while here - in turn maximising the value of international visitors to the New Zealand economy.

With over 1,150 activities and experiences included on download, visitors can access information regardless while they are on a boat in the middle of Milford Sound or pausing at one of the huts on the Tongariro crossing. They will be able to use the app to plan their next activity, rather than wait until they are back at a hotel or café.

Being able to access information they are looking when they want it, the app is expected to generate highly qualified referrals to tourism businesses, for operators to convert into bookings.

For operators, it will also provide a new channel to increase the value of their free listing on, which will continue to be the key planning tool for travellers, connecting them with travel sellers to help operators grow their tourism business.

With improvements already planned, do keep posted on www.tourismnewzealand.comfor updates over the coming months.

Essential New Zealand features:

  • Featuring over 1,150 activities and travel experiences, the app highlights the iconic activities in each region which users can save into their 'Your Trip', an established tool on;
  • When accessed online, users can also easily link back to the mobile optimised site for accommodation or travel booking information;
  • The app includes full contact details and detailed map locations for every activity and i-SITE centre, meaning face-to-face support and travel advice can be found easily if required;
  • By connecting users to one of the 80 i-SITE's across New Zealand it encourages visitors to get further travel advice from local travel experts;
  • Currently available to download onto iPhones and iPads, the app will be developed for Android smartphones and tablets later this year.

Catherine Bates

General Manager Brand and International PR