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Tourism NZ Increases Campaign as Growth Slows

Friday 3 February 2006

Media Release
for Immediate Release

Tourism New Zealand Increases Campaign as Growth Slows

Tourism New Zealand says it is investing additional resources into its key markets to keep New Zealand top of mind as the phenomenal growth the industry has been experiencing slows down.

Latest international visitor arrival figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show that the number of visitors coming to New Zealand in December 2005 decreased by 1.9% to just over 307 thousand.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says a number of global issues are contributing to the slow down in visitors to New Zealand.

“A slow down in the world economy, oil prices, the strong New Zealand dollar and an increase in spending by some of New Zealand’s main competitors are all impacting on visitors’ decision to come to this country,” he says.

Mr Hickton says the demand for long haul travel has also slowed down with travellers tempted by lower costs of short haul holidays due to the rapid increase in low cost airline activity in many parts of the world.

But he says with more challenges ahead it will be important to keep 100% Pure New Zealand in the minds of potential travellers and a $10 million dollar injection from government into key markets will help that happen.

“Some of our new initiatives include a $5million media campaign in US focusing on cable news channel CNN, Discovery Channel and Public Broadcasting. In Japan, a campaign next month will coincide with the launch of the new 100% Pure New Zealand translated website. And in the UK we will be wrapping another campaign around our new garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.”

The focus in Australia will be on higher spending visitors through two major food and wine events in Sydney and Melbourne and increased advertising in magazine, television and cinema.

“While we are retaining the very successful 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, we have to keep coming up with new and innovative ideas to keep ahead of the growing competition from destinations like Canada, South America and the Caribbean.”

Mr Hickton said New Zealand was not alone in experiencing a slow down in growth with Australia facing similar challenges.

International visitor arrivals to New Zealand for the year ended December 2005
Australia 116,250 down 1.8%
UK 43,050 down 3.1%
USA 24,550 remains the same as Dec 2004
Japan 14,475 minus 6.9%
Korea 10,725 up 2.1 %
China 11,775 up 12.9%

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