South Island Road Trip campaign a winner with the Aussies

Wonders. Closer than they appear was the key proposition for Tourism New Zealand's successful joint venture campaign aimed at enticing Australians to self-drive the South Island during the recent summer.

The campaign exceeded all of its objectives and helped to mitigate the decline in Australian arrivals into the South Island, from -21 per cent in September 2011 to -3 per cent in January 2012.

Overall Australian visitor arrivals into New Zealand for the year ending February 2012 remain strong, 3.2 per cent up on the previous year.

The campaign was undertaken in association with Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, Destination Queenstown, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Tourism Dunedin and Christchurch International Airport along with a number of New Zealand and Australian based travel trade.

Using reflections to demonstrate the close proximity of different natural wonders, the campaign imagery alluded to the accessibility of different experiences available on a road trip of the South Island across a series of three scenic scenarios.

Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Marketing Communications, Justin Watson, says South Island Road Trips was one of the most significant trans-Tasman campaigns of 2011 and was born out of a need to boost visitor numbers over the summer and to ensure the South Island remains a popular tourist destination for Australians.

RTO partner Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism says the South Island Road Trip campaign was a highly successful campaign that has cemented the credibility of the South Island as a world class road trip destination.

The key conversion tool in this campaign was a specific South Island Road Trip page on, connecting Australians actively considering a South Island road trip with travel sellers who could make it happen.

The campaign surpassed all online targets generating over 160,000 visits to and over 43,000 referrals to travel sellers.

Six different trade partner deals, promoted in advertising and on, were powerful in creating conversion and ensured the interest of those who had seen the campaign was secured.

The campaign appeared on bus backs, outdoor billboards, train stations, shopping centres, gyms, lifts and lobbies. The campaign was further supported by our 100% Pure television commercial which ran for a three-week period.

The TODAY show, Australia's morning breakfast show, which broadcast live from the South Island between 19 - 21 October 2011 built on the campaign promotion to communicate that the South Island is an ideal road trip destination.

"This is the first campaign that Tourism New Zealand has run under its new partnership structure focusing on larger, more synchronised and consumer driven campaigns with multiple partners and confirms that there is more opportunities for collaboration of this kind in the coming year."

A similar campaign for the North Island is now being considered for later this year.

See more information about the launch of the campaign or the Australia market.