Tourism New Zealand has launched a new region-specific campaign focusing on two North Island destinations (Wellington and Wairarapa); and three South Island destinations (Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury).
This is in light of Singaporeansâ soaring interest in New Zealand as a holiday destination, where the annual number of visitors in 2018 increased to 61,464, a 30 per cent rise from 2014.
Steven Dixon, regional manager South & South-east Asia, Tourism New Zealand, said: âThese regions were chosen due to their connectivity, and the experiences and natural produce they offer. For example, you can shuck oysters and drink regional wines on a yacht in the Marlborough Sounds.
âSingaporeans are familiar with New Zealandâs iconic regions, but increasingly we are finding they want to branch out beyond the traditional tourist highlights. Singaporean travellers desire authentic experiences and want to âlive like a localâ while on holiday and these new regions offer abundant opportunity to do so. With this launch, we want to encourage visitors to include the new regions into their itineraries and experience a different perspective on New Zealand.â
Calling Singapore an âincredibly valuable marketâ, Dixon revealed that more Singaporeans are heading to New Zealand than ever, with an increase of six per cent year-on-year. And of these, 30 to 55 per cent are repeat visitors.
This new regional focus is supported by two of Tourism New Zealandâs key airline partners, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
Jenni Martin, Air New Zealandâs head of South and South-east Asia, told TTGmice: âTo support the campaign, the airline has reduced up to 50 per cent of its fares for 41 domestic routes to 20 destinations in the country. This is the largest restructure to domestic fares Air New Zealand has made in 10 years, and is aimed at stimulating domestic tourism and regional dispersal.â
Similarly, Martin indicated that Singapore is a very important market, hence the launch of its first-ever global brand campaign in the country earlier in January.
When asked about the campaignâs length, Dixon shared: âIt will run for the next four months online and offline. We will then look at its performance, and explore whether there are other regions that we can look at.â
He added that this is the first time that Tourism New Zealand is promoting a market-specific strategy for Singaporean consumers as the market is âvery matureâ, compared to other markets like India where we âtalk about New Zealand as a wholeâ.
Travel agency bigwigs Chan Brothers Travel and Dynasty Travel, who also participated in the panel discussion,Â revealed that New Zealand is also a popular destination among their corporate customers, and the new regional focus is in line with the trend they are seeing among travellers who seek more off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Alicia Seah, Dynasty Travelâs spokesperson, added: âNew Zealand is jam-packed with activities, and is a value-for-money destination. With favourable exchange rates, corporate groups are able to stretch their budget, so this campaign will definitely boost numbers for incentives. I think that this segment will be able to grow 15 per cent year-on-year.â
She pointed out that due to the distance to New Zealand â a 10-hour flight â incentive groups usually stay for âfour to six nights, and tend to visit mono islandsâ. âBut with Singapore Airlinesâ Wellington route, incentives can now visit both islands easily via domestic flights with Air New Zealand, or take a ferry.”
âWe want Singaporean travellers to stay longer, explore more widely, and enjoy our country in all seasons,â Martin said, adding that year-round travel would also bode well for incentive groups, who can take advantage of better deals during the low seasons.
Similarly, Jeremiah Wong, Chan Brothers Travelâs spokesperson told TTGmice that for his company, incentives to New Zealand has been âconsistently growing year-on-year, as the country offers a lot of activities, is clean, safe and offers good food and wineâ.