FY14 – a standout period for the visitor industry

The last 12 months have been a standout period for the New Zealand tourism industry. Visitor arrivals  are at record levels, up 6 per cent and expenditure up 8 per cent, for the year-ending June 2014.

There is no question that the Hobbit trilogy and leveraging of it had a significant effect on the upturn of holiday arrivals in New Zealand, with annual holiday arrivals up 9 per cent, and 14 per cent of holiday travellers saying the trilogy influenced their choice of New Zealand as a destination.

Our most important market, Australia, has delivered strong results. This was delivered in part by a coordinated effort with our RTO partners to create unified activity with the New Zealand touring campaign 'Every day a different story', showcasing our diverse destinations and products. Marketing, trade and PR are working in unison to further amplify our campaign activity.

Emerging markets in India, Indonesia and Latin America are performing well. The growth we've seen this year reinforces the potential we see from these markets and supports our increased activity.

Our Business Events campaigns are live for the first time, as is a dedicated Business Events website. New Zealand has already won a nine new CAP bids, generating an estimated economic value of NZ$17 million dollars. We've also had great success with incentive bids, winning 50 out of the 152 incentive bids we supported globally.

Capturing greater value from the lucrative premium sector is an important component of Tourism New Zealand's strategy. Our activity is focused on telling our story of New Zealand as premium destination, engaging with key media outlets, trade and media partners.

The Royal visit in April was a significant boost in New Zealand's profile, with huge focus from international media resulting in an estimated advertising value (EAV) of NZ $69 million dollars. Other standout results from our media programme were the live broadcast of Australia's number one breakfast show Sunrise in Queenstown, the filming of the hit US reality show The Bachelor, and securing the hosting rights to the Travel Classics Writers' Conference in May. The total EAV from our combined media activity hit NZ$197 million dollars.

The launch of the Tourism 2025 framework has unified us as an industry, providing a shared vision of where we want to be and how we can get there collectively. We are targeting higher value visitors and markets, and have considerably increased our investment in international Business Events, targeting premium visitors and special interest travel sectors - as travellers of this nature typically spend more than the average holiday visitor.

With arrivals on the rise and strong growth across our markets, we are heading towards 2015 with a healthy momentum.

Kevin Bowler

Chief Executive