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Luxury Tourism Excels Even under Global Financial Crisis


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Niche New Zealand Luxury Tourism Excels Even under Global Financial Crisis

New Zealand (September 2011).

Niche luxury tourism to New Zealand continues to thrive regardless of the Global Financial Crisis, according to Karine Thomas Director of Navigate Oceania. The 32 Navigate Oceania Collection members past year trading statistics have recently been compiled and the statistics report that the higher end of the luxury New Zealand accommodation sector continues to grow year on year. This confirms the success of Navigates off shore strategy to increase luxury tourism to New Zealand by combining the marketing of high end accommodations and authentic New Zealand experiences.

New Zealand based luxury tourism marketing specialists Navigate Oceania, collect reservation statistics twice per year from their member properties to keep abreast of international booking trends. Over 90% of the 386 beds that make up the 32 property collection from New Zealand and the Pacific’s most awarded and exclusive lodges, resorts and private islands derive from the Northern Hemisphere – predominately the USA.

Whilst comparing the 2010/11 year to 2009/2010, Navigate collection members priced at >NZ$1000 per night showed a 27% increase in direct or web based bookings and through the traditional distribution channel of travel agents a 11.5% booking increase. The average nightly price of a room also increased 5.6% year on year. And it’s the troubled USA that continues to be our largest provider of this luxury traveller … and its growing.

Karine has just returned from three weeks in the USA, where she attended the USA’S largest luxury travel show: Virtuoso Travelmart and visited Navigate suppliers who are the USA’s top luxury travel agents on the west and east coasts.

Ms Thomas said, “Surprisingly travel agents on the east coast of the USA are still buoyant and forward bookings to New Zealand strong, more so than the west. But it’s not our traditional 50’s couples market. The growth continues to build on the trend from last season with more multi-generational family travel, and honeymooners with the big luxury lodge budgets – and it is old money’’. Ms Thomas continued, “it is not uncommon to see $150,000 itineraries for extended family groups that include grandparents, children and grandchildren – it is as if
New Zealand is a ‘politically correct’ destination for a big spending holiday, and it is considered ‘quality time with family in a safe and secure environment’ or alternatively a luxury destination for an active honeymoon”.

And with this growing extended family market, so has a new level in New Zealand’s luxury accommodation offering: the growth of the NZ$10,000 per night villa. Navigate now markets four villas with this nightly rate.

It is still New Zealand’s outdoors persona that continues to attract high spending tourists. Luxury visitors to New Zealand want to experience our indigenous
New Zealand with activities including walking trails, four-wheel drive safaris into remote areas, trout fishing and the large sheep station experience. And they want to eat New Zealand style food – prepared in our unique Pacific influenced manner and of course drink our New Zealand wines. They want an authentic ‘New Zealand experience’ and regional food and wine experiences still top as favourite activities for high spending tourists.

“New Zealand luxury just works for the USA market, we know how to get the mix right - international award winning accommodation with real Kiwi experiences delivered with sincerity and all things authentic – it is still a winning combination for our tourism industry and it is growing – it’s a good news story” says Karine Thomas.


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