It all starts in Christchurch
Australians, listen up. We’ll help you swim with dolphins, taste some of the world’s finest wines, go punting down a river, soak in natural hot pools, eat world-renowned cuisine, see progressive art and hike up million-year old mountains. It all starts in Christchurch.
This is the pitch of Tourism New Zealand’s latest campaign in the Australian market.
Together with Christchurch Airport and economic development and city profile agency ChristchurchNZ, Tourism New Zealand is encouraging Australian visitors to book a holiday in Christchurch in Autumn 2019, with day-trip itineraries that take in all the above sights and experiences.
“Australian visitors are a key market for us. In the past, there has been a perception the South Island could only be experienced over a fortnight or month, but recently we’ve been able to prove to Australian travellers they can have amazing experiences in the South Island, no matter how much time they have,” says Andrew Waddel, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Australia.
“Christchurch is a vibrant city experiencing rapid change and growth, and international visitors are exploring the city to see the exciting transformation. It is the perfect base for Australian visitors and start from in the South Island – especially in Autumn. There are very few places on earth where you can experience such an array of activities within a few hours of your base. We have compiled itineraries offering experiences as day trips from Christchurch.”
This campaign features a new video that follows an Australian couple as they explore the region, including the farmers’ market in Lyttelton, wine tasting in Waipara, jet boating and hot pools in Hanmer Springs, swimming with dolphins in Akaroa, punting down the Avon River, and enjoying amazing street art and food – from fine dining to the Kiwi classic, fish and chips.
In the year to June 2018, a record 555,000 international visitors flew into New Zealand via Christchurch Airport, of which 47% were Australian. Almost two thirds of these overall visitors indicated they were taking a holiday (see more).
Christchurch Airport’s Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer’s Justin Watson says Australians are a major contributor to Christchurch’s economy. In the past year, Australian visitors spent $261m in the city and surrounds.
“This campaign is the third time we have partnered with Tourism New Zealand on a Christchurch campaign, and previous campaigns have proved very successful in increasing the profile of the region and boosting the number of Australian arrivals in Autumn. With increased air capacity and direct flights from most Australian ports, Christchurch offers an easy getaway for Australians and autumn is a wonderful time to visit with gold and red hues dominating the region and vineyards harvesting – it’s picture-perfect,” says Mr Watson.
The campaign runs for four weeks from 5 November to 2 December 2018 and promotes travel to Christchurch between March-May 2019.
Trade partner Virgin Australia has provided special flight deals from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, and is supporting advertising for the entire length of the campaign. In addition, Flight Centre is promoting travel deals for the campaign and recently showcased elements of the campaign on its 48-hour Destination show (a bespoke travel video series in which one of its Australian consultants has 48 hours to experience a location). This aired in Australia on Channel Ten and is also available online. To date, the video has also been viewed more than 200 times on Flight Centre’s YouTube channel.