The importance of value – growing the premium visitor market

As published in Inside Tourism Issue 1080

With international visitor arrivals continuing their strong growth, the focus on attracting high value visitors over high volume is ever increasing. 

In 2013 Tourism New Zealand identified the premium sector as a key sector that could provide considerable value for New Zealand if invested in. With new funding – $20 million tagged over four-years – we have been well placed to specifically target the high-value premium tourism market.

With an average daily spend greater than that of the average visitor's total holiday spend these high value visitors provide additional economic benefits beyond tourism. These visitors can arrive by private planes or yachts, staying at high end lodges and participate in a range of activities such as fishing, golf and scenic helicopter flights to name a few.

And alongside the industry we are seeing results.

The latest annual international visitor revenue figures from the 29 members of the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand confirm the sector continues to grow, reporting an increase of 20.3 per cent in revenue for the summer October 2015 – March 2016 period compared to the same period in 2014-2015. Full year results are also up, with 20.8 per cent growth for the year ending March 2016.

We have seen similar growth in engagement across our marketing activity. Our content partnerships in the US and Australia with key luxury publications – Robb Report, Conde Nast and the Luxury Travel Magazine – delivered more than 7,9 million page views, with 26,000 clicks and 80,000 visits to our own Premium hub on

Our work with international media has also achieved great coverage delivering to date an equivalent advertising value of NZD$3.17million. Across the year the premium team has engaged directly with the sector attending more than 30 international trade events and shows, completing countless sales calls and hosting 12 luxury famil groups enabling highly targeted premium agents to experience New Zealand’s unique luxury themselves. 

After three years of building sector expertise and establishing strong industry partnerships, we can now take these learnings to re-focus our approach.

The premium sector audience continues to be incredibly broad, ranging from those with liquid assets of USD$1-5 million (HNWI) through to ultra-high net-worth individuals with in excess of USD$50million. We will continue to target the top 10 per cent of the worlds wealthy – the very and ultra HNWI. We know that this is the strongest audience for us to engage with to deliver results, and will flow on to reach the remaining HNWI who are influenced by their peer’s actions.

Although global citizens, HNWI are highly concentrated in key cities. As a result, we have refined our priority target markets to those of North America, Europe and Asia Pacific to ensure we are working where we have the greatest opportunity to engage with our target audience and convert them into visitors to New Zealand.

For the next financial year our integrated marketing approach will continue to build on our established trade joint ventures with key partners, as well identifying any new partners who will support us achieve our strategic objectives. Partnering and collaborating with the New Zealand based luxury sector is intrinsic to our success and will remain core to all our activity. 

To date our activity has helped to established a strong position for the New Zealand luxury experience, and we look forward to increasing the awareness of what a luxury holiday in New Zealand can offer to those high-value international individuals.

Lisa Gardiner

Business Events and Premium Manager