The campaign which highlights the diversity of naturally hidden gems and experiences will show Australians that the South Island is a great destination, with the eastern seaboard of Australia being specifically targeted.
The three year partnership will see $3 million dollars invested into luring our neighbours over for a road trip around the South Island. In addition to the direct spend, there will be a wide range of media and travel agent activity which will see the value delivered by the campaign reach as much as NZD $4-6 million.
Research tells us that when Australians fly into Christchurch they visit more regions and stay longer - both key goals we're trying to increase. With this in mind the campaign will see us working with Christchurch International Airport to drive flights into the city and promote travel throughout the South Island.
The Tourism New Zealand team, alongside the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), have created five 'Great Journeys' of the South Island which start at the top of the island, and reach to the bottom - with everything in between. Whether an Australian visitor has a long weekend to spend in New Zealand, or a few weeks' there is a journey for them. Itineraries will be available via a dedicated campaign page on newzealand.com.
The campaign will be rolled out across key media channels with a significant digital presence, as well as social media and print. Just as we've previously done, the campaign will be completely integrated and include a heavy trade and public relations component too.
To support the digital and outdoor presence, a 12-page News Corp lift out on the South Island will be distributed across Australia on 22 February with News Ltd publications nationally. Four popular Australian social influencers will be visiting our shores in March to experience a South Island roadie for themselves and share their experiences. The first group will explore Christchurch, Kaikoura, Marlborough and Hamner Springs and the second group will travel through Christchurch, West Coast, Queenstown and finish up in Wanaka.
In the trade space, Helloworld is our major retail partner and will be running a variety of activity in metro and regional markets.
All South Island regional tourism organisations are involved in the campaign, as is Air New Zealand who is on board to promote direct services between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Christchurch over the summer period.
Over a lifetime, Australia is both a volume and value market for New Zealand. The average Australian will visit New Zealand an average of three times, compared to 1-1.5 times for visitors from other countries. Combine this with the fact Australian stay days have increased, and they become a high value visitor as they spend more when they stay longer too.
Following a dip in visitor numbers after the Christchurch earthquakes, the Australia market has improved. While holiday and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) arrivals are equal in size, holiday arrivals are growing at a faster rate.
We've had proven results with enticing Australians to self-drive the South Island and I look forward to seeing this current evolution of the campaign play out in Australia.