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Marlborough – It’s never been better

Marlborough – It’s never been better

Looking for a holiday destination that is quick and easy to get to, has brilliant weather, world class wine and food, wide open spaces and best of all gets you away from the traffic jams, weekend chores and the hustle and bustle of the city?

Then look no further than Marlborough, find out why there’s never been a better time to visit to hang out with the family, meet up with friends for a weekend adventure or escape for a romantic getaway.

Visit MarlboroughNZ.com to take advantage of a brilliant range of deals on offer when planning and booking your holiday in Marlborough. While you’re there check out how to win exclusive rewards and keep an eye out for local secrets and insights. It’s our shout so grab your deals and visit now - it has never been a better time to book an escape to Marlborough.

Marlborough already has a reputation for being Brilliant Every Day and now New Zealand travellers are finding out why there has never been a better time to visit Marlborough for a holiday.

Destination Marlborough has this month launched a new domestic visitor campaign to capture the attention of city dwellers to visit Marlborough during 2017.

The campaign has been designed to raise the awareness of Marlborough as a holiday destination targeting to families looking to spend quality time hanging out together, friends looking to meet up for a weekend adventure and couples wanting an indulgent break away.

The promotion uses video footage to introduce a weekend away in Marlborough to nature lovers, wine and food fans, outdoor adventurers and families. This will be followed by a staged release of promotions sharing seasonal insights and local secrets tailored to these groups supported throughout the duration of the campaign with a range of deals and exclusive rewards for those planning and booking a trip.

Marlborough is still undiscovered by too many Kiwis says Destination Marlborough General Manager Tracy Johnston and our aim is to change that. “With higher average sunshine hours across all four seasons than Auckland and Wellington, Marlborough is the perfect weekend getaway for city dwellers. Locals know only too well that a classic Marlborough day in winter starts out crisp before turning into a stunning calm blue sky day.” For those coming from the city, Marlborough not only offers brilliant weather, “here in Marlborough we don’t have traffic jams, in fact we don’t even have any traffic lights to waste precious holiday time.” Getting here is easy too, “ There are up to five direct flights a day from Auckland into Marlborough, and the flight time from Wellington can literally be only 15 minutes in the air.”

To launch the campaign there are over 60 Marlborough deals and offers available and more will be added as the campaign unfolds. Visitors booking a trip to Marlborough can take advantage of the value add offers and deals and be in to win money can’t buy experiences. For example, book a three course lunch at Allan Scott Family Winemakers Twelve Trees Restaurant during June, July or August and you could win lunch for free and be joined for lunch by Allan Scott himself.

Putting effort into driving visitation is vital to retain domestic spend. Following the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 the road and rail link between Marlborough and Christchurch has been closed. To year end October 2016 visitors from Canterbury had spent $74 million in Marlborough accounting for one third of total domestic visitor spend in Marlborough. With the region fully operational from a visitor experience perspective intervention was needed to minimise the impact on domestic spend.

Since the earthquake research has revealed that 75% of Canterbury residents have expressed a decreased desire to visit due to the additional drive time and traffic congestion on the unfamiliar alternate route. 17% also noted fear of earthquakes/aftershocks as a reason their desire to visit had decreased.

10% of Canterbury residents have visited Marlborough since the earthquake but 62% said they have visited less or much less frequently since November. 45% of Canterbury residents who have not visited Marlborough since the earthquake would have been very likely or somewhat likely to visit had the road been open. The research has also provided a number of insights which will be used to re-target the Canterbury market later in the year when the road is due to reopen.

The campaign will run from May to November 2017 to attract domestic visitors to Marlborough targeting Auckland, Wellington/Lower North Island and Nelson/Tasman, regions where transport links to Marlborough are unaffected. There will be a consistent presence in Wellington with buses travelling key routes displaying compelling Marlborough images. Online promotion and publisher partnerships will drive editorial and advertising content in the coming months.

The campaign is being backed by Marlborough District Council and funding made available as part of the Government’s $807,000 ‘Top of the South’ industry support package following the earthquake centred in Kaikoura in November 2016.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett says “With extra promotional budget supplied by Council and by MBIE this is actually a chance for us to raise the Marlborough flag a bit higher in Nelson and the North Island. It’s a profile-building opportunity, to help make up for what’s been lost from Canterbury and maybe also to entice other regions to become regular visitors to Marlborough.”

Given the scale of impact on Marlborough’s largest source of domestic visitors, success in the short term will be retaining pre-earthquake 2016 domestic visitor value for 2017. Long term success will be growth in domestic visitor spend in subsequent years off the back of the increased visibility of Marlborough as a ‘Brilliant’ visitor destination as a legacy of the campaign.

$365 million was spent by visitors in Marlborough to the year end March 2016 up 8% on the previous year. That equates to $1 million per day of new money into the Marlborough economy, the split is two thirds domestic one third international.

Destination Marlborough is a not-for-profit Trust established by Marlborough District Council to market Marlborough as a visitor destination. The organisation also operates the Picton, Blenheim and

Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres and Business Events Marlborough on behalf of the region.

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