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Wellington woos NZers with a new domestic campaign

Media Release
7 July 2005

Wellington woos New Zealanders with a new domestic marketing campaign

Launching 10 July 2005, Positively Wellington Tourism will unveil a bold new domestic marketing campaign targeting the urban short holiday market.

The campaign, which will be seen on televisions throughout the country from Sunday, 10 July, signals a shift in the way Wellington markets itself to New Zealand.

“The new campaign reflects the increasingly competitive domestic tourism environment we now operate in,” said Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive, Tim Cossar.

“With airfares to Australia now costing about the same as domestic flights, Wellington is competing with Australian cities for visitors.

“To ensure that Wellington remains competitive with our target audience against these destinations, we needed to change our campaign and establish Wellington as New Zealand’s number one urban short holiday destination.”

“The new campaign is stunning,” said Mr Cossar. “We want to capture the imagination of New Zealanders by redefining Wellington in their minds.

“It is a campaign driven by Wellington’s key strengths of city excitement and arts and culture. We are aiming for the campaign to set a new benchmark in domestic marketing in New Zealand.”

The total campaign spend is $2 million and is funded by Wellington City Council and partners Air New Zealand, Te Papa and a number of Wellington hotels. Key components of the campaign are national television advertising, on-line marketing, event direct mail, event specific marketing and telephone and on-line sales.

“A new television commercial forms the central part of the campaign,” said Mr Cossar.

“Without giving anything away, the commercial uses the story of a visiting couple to convey what research confirms visitors to Wellington are seeking – escape, reinvigoration and respite from day to day routine.”

The commercial, filmed in Wellington using back drops such as City Gallery, Lido and Chow, and commissioned music by local artist Rhian Sheehan, will play to a national audience. A first for a Wellington campaign.

The brand marketing will be supported by a comprehensive tactical campaign to ensure increased interest in Wellington is converted to bookings.

The call-to-action on all activity is 0800 WEEKEND and WellingtonNZ.com. Bookings can be made on-line at WellingtonNZ.com or for visitors who prefer to use the web for research only, by speaking directly with Positively Wellington Tourism’s Customer Service Centre or the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Centre.

Positively Wellington Tourism is currently the only Regional Tourism Organisation with a real time on-line booking facility. WellingtonNZ.com averages 112,000 unique visitors per month and Neilson//NetRatings rank it as one of the top five most popular travel websites in New Zealand.

The campaign is seen as a comprehensive year-round marketing programme to the domestic visitor market and will run for two years.

“Underpinning our previous successful marketing campaigns have been long-term partnerships with Wellington City Council, Air New Zealand, Wellington hotels and Te Papa,” said Mr Cossar. “Positively Wellington Tourism will measure the success of this campaign by our partners gains.”

ENDS

Background

Positively Wellington Tourism and its funding partners believe that the domestic market is the core of the New Zealand tourism industry – the bread and butter - and has seen the pay off for making a long-term investment in the domestic market.

Positively Wellington Tourism was the first Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) to develop a significant domestic marketing campaign, launching the ‘Send Yourself to Wellington’ campaign in 1995, and, along with Air New Zealand, Te Papa and Wellington hotels, has made a significant investment in domestic marketing ever since.

Whilst 6.6% growth in domestic visitor numbers between 2001 and 2003 pales compared to the 85.5% growth in international visitor nights between 2001 and 2004, successful domestic marketing campaigns, a growing events calendar and high profile events such as the World Premiere of Lord of the Rings have seen Wellington grow its share of the domestic market ahead of other urban destinations like Auckland and Christchurch.

In simple expenditure terms, for the year ended December 2003, domestic tourism to Wellington contributed $434.7 million to the Wellington economy. This was an increase of 36% since December 2001.

In 1995, before Wellington launched its first domestic marketing campaign, average weekend hotel occupancy rates were 30% to 40%. Wellington’s average hotel occupancy is now one of the highest in New Zealand with average weekend occupancy rates of 70%. As a result there has been significant investment into new hotels and refurbishing existing hotels.

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