100% pure New Zealand aims for premium tourists
While virtually every other country is undertaking campaigns to attract greater numbers of tourists, New Zealand’s tourism chief doesn’t mind a slow down if it means keeping their product ‘100% pure.’
Chief Executive Kevin Bowler has admitted that parts of the industry are growing too fast – pointing to the 315,000 Chinese tourists – an increase of 30% in the past year.
He said he believed it was more sustainable and manageable if the rate of growth was half of the current level. New Zealand has long aimed their marketing to attract the higher-yielding tourist to its shores – a plan that has paid off over the years.
Mr Bowler explained that a large slice of the attraction to New Zealand for visitors coming from abroad was its natural landscape and the environment. He stressed that it was vital that the brand image remained the reality.
The land of the silver fern has a very strong equation where international arrivals jumped by 7% but spending by 28% to $NZ9 billion, according to the Melbourne Age newspaper.
The Tourism NZ focus works on tempting premium travellers with a view to gaining maximum economic benefits while at the same time reducing the footprint on the ground.
Such is the importance given to tourism in NZ that Prime Minister John Key oversees the portfolio. Mr Bowler’s organisation faces the challenge of having massive tourist numbers during its peak summer months from January to March, but a lower rate for the remaining time of the year.
This means that while there is over capacity in the busy times, New Zealand still a lot of spare capacity in the leaner times.
Mr Bowler said there was a lag on hotel construction which meant the country was three years away from meeting its peak demands.