Tourism New Zealands Australian Whats On campaign has resulted in a significant jump in the Australian holiday market during autumn. A 6.2 per cent increase in autumn (March to May) holiday visitor numbers meant an additional 4769 Australian visitors during what is a traditionally quieter time of the year.
Tourism Minister Damien OConnor, who last year launched the campaign to encourage off-peak travel to our regions, said the extra visitors are very good news for the tourism industry, for operators and for New Zealand.
The tourism industry usually slows down at this time of the year, and what this campaign has done is kept tourism spending flowing through the economy for much longer.
“At this rate the number of Australians visiting New Zealand annually will hit the magic 1 million mark in the not too distant future. That’s our challenge.
In the year to April 2007, a total of 913,276 Australians visited New Zealand.
Mr OConnor said the campaign has also successfully focused on getting Australians out to more New Zealand regions.
Many Regional Tourism Organisations have invested in the Whats On campaign, in some cases enabling them to run television commercials in Australia for the first time.
The Whats On campaign, fronted by television personality Petra Bagust and actor Robbie Magasiva, was launched in August 2006.
Its aim is to encourage Australians to visit at different times of the year, visit different places and try new things when in the country.
Tourism New Zealand is now working on the spring campaign, which will go live in Australia in August.