Tourism New Zealand has released its new strategy for the next four years with greater focus on increasing international tourism in the regions and shoulder seasons and working with partners to improve experiences for visitors and Kiwis.
Tourism New Zealand’s acting chief executive Brighid Kelly said with tourism visitors now at 3.5m a year, spending at $14.5b and the industry the biggest export earner in the country, it is a successful time for the sector.
“The new four-year strategy for Tourism New Zealand recognises that success, so makes only slight changes in our direction,” said Ms Kelly.
The strategy has a mission – To boost New Zealand’s economy by growing the value of international visitors. It is supported by three priorities:
Target near and long-term value including shoulder season and regional growth.
Strategically manage our markets and sectors.
Work with industry to improve experiences for visitors and Kiwis.
“Growth brings opportunities and challenges for the industry,” said Ms Kelly. “This new strategy is about taking a longer term approach to growing the value of international visitors.
“The main changes from the previous strategy are a focus on attracting visitors to new regions, encouraging them to arrive during off-peak seasons, and working with the industry and government to improve the tourism experience for visitors and New Zealanders.
“Over the next four years Tourism New Zealand will pursue regional dispersal through region-specific campaigns as well as targeting special interest visitors such as cyclists, golfers and backpackers who visit more regions.
“We will continue our work on shoulder season marketing with Tourism New Zealand devoting 100% of its marketing to off-peak campaigns. This has had initial success with shoulder season growing two per cent more than peak season in the last financial year.
“The most important part of tourism is the experience visitors have when here. We will work with industry and government partners and share insights and skills as the ‘Voice of the Visitor’ to make sure tourists keep having world-class experiences and become unofficial brand ambassadors at home.
“It’s also important to keep Kiwis on board with tourism growth, which is one of the reasons we are focussed on encouraging visitors to new regions and to visit in the shoulder seasons which in turn should share tourism value more evenly. Finally, we will continue to monitor concerns New Zealanders have as tourism grows and take action where we can, such as the work we have done to keep visiting drivers safe on our roads,” said Ms Kelly.
The strategy will be given shape by the annual business plans and a series of initiatives to be achieved over the next four years.