The announcement yesterday that NZ will move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday has been met with delight in Queenstown, with operators in the Southern Hemisphere’s premier holiday destination excited to welcome visitors again and get back to business.
Regional tourism organisation, Destination Queenstown, says the announcement is hugely important and provides a pathway to recovery for tourism operators moving into the vital winter season.
Destination Queenstown interim CEO, Ann Lockhart, says tourism operators are keen to get back to doing what they do best – inviting visitors to share our culture and spectacular part of the country.
“The announcement today will provide some relief for businesses in Queenstown following many weeks of uncertainty. Tourism operators will now be looking at how the rules apply to them, how they can safely operate under alert level 2 and making any adaptations to do so. While this isn’t a total panacea it is a good step in the right direction. DQ will be working with businesses this week to understand their plans and identify any support they may need access to,’’ Ms Lockhart said.
“We are certain that our world leading tourism operators are well equipped to meet requirements to deliver great experiences, in a safe environment. We are excited our ski fields are able to operate, our hospitality sector will be looking forward to serving visitors again soon, and many of our activities will be able to make the guidelines work.”
The return of commercial air services to Queenstown will also go a long way toward getting the Queenstown community back on its feet.
Destination Queenstown (DQ) has developed a framework of marketing activity in response to Covid-19. The approach has three stages; local, regional and domestic and aims to tell our story from the inside out, celebrating our culture and our diversity.
The first campaign, #WeAreQueenstown, launched two weeks ago has centred on the local community. The marketing campaign not only encourages support for local businesses, but aims to inspire community spirit and pride, reminding locals why they choose to call Queenstown home.
DQ began ramping up winter marketing activity last week, following announcement of the inclusion of domestic travel in level 2. This will culminate with the launch of a new winter marketing campaign, targeting the domestic market, on 1 June. The campaign will be a celebration of being back in the outdoors, exploring, discovering and spending time with friends – some true Kiwi favourites.
DQ is also underway with research to get a wider understanding of the domestic market. The work will provide insights to both inform DQ marketing investment and activity but also to deliver key insights for DQ members.
Ms Lockhart says the RTO is keen to unlock the lockdown wanderlust and invite New Zealanders to enjoy our great outdoors, our vibrant town, exceptional dining and iconic activities.
“Queenstown’s world-class activities and outstanding natural beauty have earned Queenstown a collection of accolades over the years and now is the perfect time for Kiwis to experience why.”
New Zealanders have always played an important role in Queenstown’s visitation. Kiwis coming to Queenstown have historically made up a third of all visitors.
In two recent NZ polls Queenstown has ranked the first choice of destination Kiwis are planning to visit once travel restrictions lift. It’s a great acknowledgement from people across New Zealand that Queenstown is an inspirational destination that they are keen to visit again.