“Its incredibly important not to make assumptions about knowing your audience” says Anne Newman, General Manager at Christchurch Adventure Park.
The park has always had a strong loyal customer base of mountain bikers, young families and groups. When COVID-19 hit, the Park took the opportunity to rethink their approach and tried targeting an older audience.
Christchurch Adventure Park began engaging with local retirement homes and put a flyer in with the local council’s rates bill offering dynamic pricing to fill the quiet mid-week.
“Our reservations team spoke with a potential customer asking about the age restrictions for the zipline, specifically the upper age limit. She was 92 and wanted to bring her children with her for her birthday. It took a few seconds to realise her children would be seniors too, but they came and had a fantastic time! For us, it really opened our eyes to a whole new world of customers we hadn’t previously engaged with”.
The Park also looked at developing new product for new customers including a family friendly walking loop trail and an introductory bike loop trail for young children, and continued work on sustainability initiatives such as the Tūī Corridor by planting 3,000 natives in the Park to set up a chain of food sources and habitat to provide a pathway for the native bird to move back into the central city.
Using data from Tourism New Zealand that showed Kiwis were seeking rest and relaxation, Anne recognises that looks different for everyone. “It’s important not to get siloed in your thinking. Some of our customers head to our world class jump tracks to relax, others might go for a walk on our free trails and come for lunch at the café after – no washing up to be done, or might jump on the chairlift for some tranquillity as they take in some of the best sightseeing Christchurch has to offer”.
“COVID-19 has also given us the opportunity to look at the insight we have available, through our own booking data, website etc, and through other partners like our RTO ChristchurchNZ and Tourism New Zealand to make better informed decisions and try new approaches based on the information we have”.
The park had already needed to unexpectedly close their business for a year before COVID-19 reached New Zealand. They had only been operating for 7 weeks when the Port Hills fires in 2017 destroyed much of the Park.
Anne believes this made their business and their staff more resilient and agile when COVID-19 forced their business to close earlier in 2020.
“We had closed our doors before, but more importantly, we had also re-opened. This meant that when we were given the green light to open at Alert Level 2, we were ready. Our team were thinking of new ideas to face the challenges, but also importantly, embraced the opportunities that COVID-19 presented”.
Learn more about Christchurch Adventure Park by visiting christchurchadventurepark.com/