Using special interest travel to drive value to the industry

Last week Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) shared its new Three Year Marketing Strategy with industry - presenting a strategy that is both an evolution and expansion of its current activity, with refined strategic priorities.

With an overarching aim to grow and increase value for the industry, TNZ's third strategic priority specifies that marketing activity will focus on clearly defined higher value visitors. Playing a key role in this is TNZ's sector marketing activity to grow special interest travel to New Zealand.

Through its Active Considerer (ACs) research and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employments International Visitor survey, TNZ found that visitors who participate in special interest activities such as golf, hiking or cycling, have the potential to spend more and stay longer. TNZ's research also found that there are large groups of ACs willing to travel to solely participate in a specific activity.

As a result, TNZ believes there is a significant opportunity to target those with a shared passion for a specific activity or travel style, and will deliver specific marketing campaigns focused on these special interests.  

With an almost endless list of activities it is important that there is a balance between the activities New Zealand is known for - and those that will deliver the best value and inspire travel to experience them.

This year, further research has been undertaken to determine priority segments in each of TNZ's target markets.

Activity is now underway to develop individual strategic approaches to strengthen the 100% Pure New Zealand proposition and drive awareness of the strong product assets we have on offer in New Zealand. The priority segments that have been identified as presenting the strongest opportunities currently include walking/hiking, cycling, ski, fishing, golf and honeymoon.

While some of these segments already have activity underway, such as our Australian ski campaign, we have committed to work with key industry leaders to better understand how we can best support each segment.  

First cab off the rank was golf, with a working group appointed in May to research and develop a long-term strategy for golf tourism. Over the last month the group has been undertaking a comprehensive review of golf specific tourism in key in-bound markets, economic benefits, marketing and infrastructure needs.

The resulting strategy will identify ways to use golf tourism as a means to increase the returns from international visitors to New Zealand. We will keep you updated with our progress and look forward to sharing the outcomes in late June following the delivery of the strategy by the group.

If you would like to know more about Sector Marketing you may like to attend one TNZ's webinars being held over the next two weeks. On 19 June Marketing Manager Sectors Chris Atkinson will be joined by Insights Manager Dave Sakey to discuss 'Using sector marketing to engage our Active Considerers', and the second webinar looks at the Youth Sector on 26 June. You can register to attend either session on our corporate website -

First published in Inside Tourism issue 93, 13 June

Justin Watson

Director of Trade, PR and Major Events