Smart marketing sees shoulder season growth stronger than peak

Data released today confirms the success of Tourism New Zealand’s shoulder season strategy with stronger growth in holiday arrivals seen in spring 2016 and autumn 2017, than the traditional summer peak.

Statistics New Zealand data shows holiday arrivals in the spring and autumn grew 16.1 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.

This compares to the summer peak season holiday arrivals growth of 8.3 per cent.

Stephen England-Hall, Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive says the organisation changed its focus two years ago in response to the pattern of arrivals that boomed over summer before dropping away again.

 “We invest our entire marketing budget in encouraging people to come to New Zealand in the shoulder seasons, to even the spread of visitation.

“Traditionally people want to travel here in the summer and changing that behaviour is extremely difficult.

“But our industry needs a much more even distribution of visitors so they can keep staff employed and make the most of their investments in capital. And we can continue to welcome more visitors than we do currently provided they don’t all come at the same time.

“So we are thrilled to see this shift occurring.”

The total number of international visitor arrivals to New Zealand rose 10 per cent in the year ending May 2017 compared to the previous year.

Statistics New Zealand’s latest data shows over 3.6 million international visitors have arrived here in the past year, with almost 1.9 million of them coming for a holiday.

The markets currently showing the most growth in holiday arrivals are Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Almost 50,000 more Australians holidayed in New Zealand in the year ending May 2017, a 9.2 per cent increase on the previous year.

“It’s pleasing to see holiday arrivals from our largest and closest source market continue to grow,” says Stephen.

“We’ve invested in a range of marketing campaigns in Australia over the past year, such as our short breaks and cycling campaigns, to encourage Australians to come and enjoy what New Zealand has to offer and it is paying off.”

An increase in airline activity and capacity is also making it easier for tourists to travel further for less.

Holiday arrivals from the US grew by 32.6 per cent, while arrivals from the UK were also up by 9.5 percent on last year.

“We’ve witnessed the price of air travel plummet significantly over the past year, and this combined with the increase of long-haul flights arriving into New Zealand have resulted in these increases in holiday arrivals we are seeing from the US and UK,” says Stephen.

Another market of note is China, this time for the softening of growth which stands at 1.1 per cent for the year.


Graph showing the average daily number of tourists in NZ.

Graph comparing shoulder and peak season growth.