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Driving domestic tourism

AA Traveller is helping regions of New Zealand to put their best foot forward during the off peak tourism season in a bid to drive domestic tourism.

18 May 2017

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“New Zealand is showcased around the world with images of snowy mountains, meandering rivers, lush bush, sun-drenched sandy beaches,” says AA Traveller Marketing Manager Rhys James.

“As a result, we get more than 3 million people every year arriving from overseas to experience what we’re selling – and that’s great for our economy.”

However, the rest of the world also works on selling itself to Kiwis. When summer starts to wane, that’s when we start seeing images of palm trees and snorkelling in the tropics on back of buses.

“Kiwis are great travellers and no one can blame people for chasing the sun for a week or two during the winter. Just like offshore visitors respond well to marketing New Zealand and come here, Kiwis do as well and go everywhere else,” Mr James says.

“Domestic travel definitely wanes outside of summer. Nearly 60% of all domestic travel occurs during the warmer spring and summer months.

“This is where we see an opportunity to encourage Kiwis to explore a little more of home, even if it’s just a weekend trip. Outside of swimming at the beach and in lakes – there’s little you can’t do in New Zealand when it’s a bit cooler versus summer.”

Over the next six months (starting May 2017), AA Traveller has reignited its Great Spot Specials campaign, first run last year.

The campaign draws tourism operators and accommodation providers together offering the AA’s membership base of more than a million people discounts and deals across New Zealand. Last year the Great Spot Specials campaign was broad and brought together partners from all over New Zealand.

“The concept is similar this year, but we’ve developed a tighter focus so we can work more closely with regional tourism organisations which can assist with drawing more providers together overall. So, every month we’ll be showcasing different areas around New Zealand and highlighting the activities that make those areas special,” Mr James says.

First off the blocks are Kaikoura and Hurunui.

“Lots of work has gone into the top of the east coast of the South Island since November’s 7.8 magnitude quake and, as a result, both areas are definitely open for business,” Mr James says.

“The work that’s gone in over the last few months demonstrates tremendous resilience and a desire to ensure the area remains an important part of the trail for visitors, who are clearly very welcome.”

“Few of us can truly say we’ve explored our own country. What the Great Spots Specials campaign enables is a reason to get out there and check out some of the parts of New Zealand we’ve never seen.”