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Major tourism push promotes regional growth

A $3.2m tourism drive starts this week to spread regional growth beyond the popular tourist destinations.

Tourism New Zealand is promoting the West Coast of the South Island and Northland in a twelve week campaign to encourage Australians to travel to New Zealand during autumn.

Australia is New Zealand’s biggest international visitor market, accounting for nearly half of all international holiday visitors. Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says the latest campaign is a significant and strategic effort to continue to drive our holiday visitors beyond the popular tourist spots in New Zealand and to get them to travel during the autumn months. He says: “This is about ensuring that more communities can enjoy the benefits of tourism and for those benefits to be extended beyond the peak season months.

“We know from a successful trial we carried out in Northland last year that it’s possible to influence a shift in travel patterns toward our less visited areas. The trial campaign resulted in a 40 per cent increase in flight bookings from the state of Victoria.

“It is particularly exciting to add the West Coast to our regional growth work. The West Coast offers a region of contrast that even New Zealanders might not be aware of. The glaciers offer an adventure like nowhere else; there are stunning views and challenging bike rides and walks for every level of fitness. It is a dramatic and ever changing coastline and quite different from anywhere else in New Zealand.

“By encouraging more visitors to areas like the West Coast, we are contributing to a multi-agency effort to help regional growth. More visitors to the region mean more spending on such things as accommodation, activities, food and drink. Tourism provides significant employment in New Zealand with one in seven people directly, or indirectly, employed in the industry. In regions like the West Coast, this can provide hugely valuable to the local community,” he said.

The new campaign will also focus on Northland again, reinforcing messages about the incredible beauty of the region and the amazing experiences available to visitors, all within easy reach of Auckland.

The marketing is being run in conjunction with Auckland and Christchurch Airports, the regional tourism organisations in Northland and the West Coast, Flight Centre and Air New Zealand. It includes digital advertising including Facebook and extensive outdoor advertising, backed up by trade and PR activities.

The promotion focuses on the east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which will be blitzed with advertising in kiosks, buses and trams and outdoor billboards showcasing images from the two regions.

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