How has New Zealand harnessed the power of domestic travel to save its tourism sector?

How has New Zealand harnessed the power of domestic travel to save its tourism sector?

Despite having a population of fewer than five million people, Kiwis make more than three million trips abroad each year. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider that around €7.55 billion is spent by New Zealanders on this overseas travel.

It’s no surprise that the New Zealand Tourism Board has tried to see some of that money redistributed internally over the last year, by inspiring the country to explore more of their own backyard.

New Zealand Tourism (the national tourism board) has tried to harness that same spirit this time around, launching the #DoSomethingNewNZ campaign.

As part of the project, a report into New Zealanders’ attitudes towards domestic tourism was also commissioned – with interesting findings.

One of the key learnings was that people in New Zealand were aware that the borders being closed presented an “immediate, unique opportunity” to explore their home country “in the absence of international visitors.”

For one the first time in recent years, New Zealanders have been able to travel to tourist hotspots like Queenstown, the Coromandel, Hobbiton, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, and the other multitude of places without having to battle overseas guests for space.

The report also noted that there was far more of an appetite for short trips and weekends away, than for long vacations, largely because of a lack of annual leave. This has been seen as an opportunity to promote regular, short-stay travel – with campaigns pushing multiple destinations, and encouraging New Zealanders to see as much of the country as possible.

During the research, it was also found that people were willing to spend more money than usual while travelling domestically – particularly motivated by a desire to help support local businesses and organisations.

It seems to be working

While there’s no doubt the tourism sector has suffered in New Zealand, the emphasis on domestic travel seems to be having a positive impact. Last October Air New Zealand relaunched its mystery travel packages, a sign which some took to be hopeful.

Importantly, the renewed focus on internal tourism seems to be resonating with people in New Zealand.

This is an excerpt from an article by Marthe de Ferrer, originally published on euronews

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