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 Singaporeans’ 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: “These 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.
“Singaporeans are familiar with New Zealand’s 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 ‘live like a local’ 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.”
Calling Singapore an “incredibly valuable market”, Dixon revealed that more Singaporeans are heading to New Zealand than ever, with an increase of six per cent year-on-year. Of these, 30 to 55 per cent are repeat visitors.
This new regional focus is supported by two of Tourism New Zealand’s key airline partners, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
Jenni Martin, Air New Zealand’s head of South and South-east Asia, told TTG Asia: “To 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.”
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.
“We want Singaporean travellers to stay longer, explore more widely, and enjoy our country in all seasons,” Martin added.
When asked about the campaign’s length, Dixon shared: “It 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.”
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 “very mature”, compared to other markets like India where we “talk about New Zealand as a whole”.
Travel agency bigwigs Chan Brothers Travel and Dynasty Travel, which also participated in the panel discussion, said that New Zealand has always been a popular destination for both their customers, and the new regional focus is in line with the trend they are seeing among Singaporean travellers who are looking for more off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Alicia Seah, Dynasty Travel’s spokesperson, added: “New Zealand is a value-for-money destination, and with favourable exchange rates, Singaporeans are able to stretch their budget, and repeat travellers will definitely be interested.”
Jeremiah Wong, Chan Brothers Travel’s spokesperson, agreed: “This campaign will be very interesting for repeat travellers due to its off-the-beaten-path experiences. It’s also good for travellers looking for more immersive experiences. Wellington is a perfect location to start, as it’s a skip and hop away from the top of South Island.”
Chan Brothers Travel is hence currently developing small group tours, unique accommodation tours involving ecolodges and glasshouses, as well as photography expeditions for this campaign, all of which will be expected to launch later this year or the next, Wong told TTG Asia.