UK freelancer and photographer takes in best of NZ

World renowned freelance journalist and photographer to the stars Mark O'Flaherty has left the country after a fortnight experiencing some of the best that New Zealand has to offer.

Hosted by Tourism New Zealand as part of the International Media Programme (IMP), London-based Mr O'Flaherty's experiences in New Zealand will feature in a number of prestigious publications including Spears Wealth Management, The Independent and the Financial Times.

Mr O'Flaherty visited Wanaka, Queenstown, Nelson, Marlborough and Auckland; his articles are expected to feature Wanaka's Minaret Station as well as food and wine tourism experiences. Meeting fashionista Karen Walker was also on his itinerary.  Her 'perfect weekend' captured through an interview and photo shoot will feature full page in the How to Spend It supplement of the Financial Times Weekend.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Brand and International PR Catherine Bates said Mr O'Flaherty's significant influence and ability to get stories published in key titles in the UK made him a great option for the International Media Programme.

Recent research commissioned by Tourism New Zealand to help assess which special interests held the greatest opportunities identified the luxury market as sector with strong prospects for growth.

Mr O'Flaherty's itinerary was targeted specifically to promote some of New Zealand's high end luxury and food and wine tourism products, along with profiling the countries fashion credentials.

"The UK is an important market to New Zealand and the coverage generated from Mr O'Flaherty's visit will reach around 6 million people, many of whom will have the means to travel to New Zealand and experience the best of what we have to offer," says Ms Bates.

Mr O'Flaherty's trip to New Zealand was supported by Singapore Airlines and he was hosted by the Regional Tourism Organisations' (RTOs) in the regions he visited.

Read more on the UK market.