There is no doubting that the latest royal visit to New Zealand has been a huge success in bringing the two nations closer together, however, it has also already caused major ripples across the local tourism industry with experts predicting a boost to New Zealand’s visitor numbers for years to come.
As a direct result of New Zealand being splashed across the UK and international media, enquiries from holiday makers have already rocketed with increases of up to 237 per cent reported in specific areas of the country since the Duke, Duchess and their eight month-old prince touched down in Wellington.
Paul Carberry, founder of New Zealand travel specialist New Zealand In Depth, said: “Figures show that Auckland has seen the biggest rise in searches; however at New Zealand In Depth we have experienced increased enquiry levels for destinations across the country.”
Since landing in Wellington on 7th April, the Royals will be spending three weeks on their tour south of the equator leaving for the second leg of the trip in Australia on 16th April and flying home on 25th April.
“The Royal visit has been a wonderful programme put together by Tourism New Zealand to showcase this stunning and diverse country,” said Paul Carberry, of New Zealand In Depth. “Not only have the Duke, Duchess and young Prince had the chance to see, hear, taste and experience much of what makes the country so special, but they have really engaged with the people and activities – obviously loving their time in the country. It is this engaging attitude and propensity to have-a-go that has allowed the best of New Zealand to be fully showcased, already inspiring so many more to want to visit later this year.”
It is yet to be seen what long term effect the current visit will have on visitor numbers to the country, however, experts have said that the international media coverage generated from the tour could positively impact the tourism industry for many years to come.
New Zealand expert, Paul Carberry, of New Zealand In Depth adds: “You are never going to repeat the 40% increases seen from 2000 to 2006 during the height of the Lord of the Rings, however, significant media events like the Royal visit will build on the growth of interest for visitors to the country and could directly affect the number of visitors not only for this year, but for 2015 and 2016 as well.”
Tourism New Zealand’s Director of Trade, PR and Major Events Justin Watson added: “Our programme of activity will demonstrate how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand and have similar experiences to those enjoyed by the Royal family.”
Paul Carberry concludes: “It is becoming ever easier for people to visit the country and with such an incredible mixture of breath-taking nature and conservation projects; outdoor activities like hiking and cycling to tempt the novice to the expert; history and culture that will open your eyes to years gone by; and a gastronomic culture that boasts some of the world’s best local produce, traditional and fine dining experiences that would excite any foodie – it is a country that has it all!”