Winter athletes share their love of New Zealand

Athletes competing at the Audi quattro Winter Games are making the most of their time in New Zealand, sharing their great experiences of Queenstown and Wanaka, away from the slopes.

The Games, held in the spectacular Southern Alps around Queenstown and Wanaka, are the third largest snow sports event in the world after the Winter Olympics and the X-Games.

For Tourism New Zealand, the event is an opportunity to work with athletes and broadcasters to showcase the magnificent scenery and adventure highlights the region has to offer.

A shift in the timing of the games is also being endorsed by Tourism New Zealand. René de Monchy, Director of Trade, PR and Major Events says that moving the Games to late August and early September aligns with Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to spread visitor demand into what is a shoulder period and an opportunity to promote September as a month to ski and ride.

In the lead up to the games, Tourism New Zealand worked with some of the US, Chinese and Korean athletes to produce two action packed videos which have been distributed internationally.

The US athletes enjoyed the spectacular scenery around Wanaka.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Korean athletes experienced some of the best adventure activities Queenstown has to offer.

Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore said: “The Games themselves bring strong economic benefit to the region, attracting hundreds of competitors and many more supporters – but the wider benefit is the extensive media coverage of the event and the legacy for the region,” he said. “The new timing of the Games, largely in early September, also lends significant credibility and legitimacy to our spring ski proposition and provides the evidence to support our marketing claims for the region. The Winter Games NZ go from strength to strength and we are privileged to have them in our region.”

A record number of winter athletes from 39 countries are competing at this year’s games, with more international media attending than ever before. The 16 day Games will finish with a closing ceremony this Sunday, 10 September.