From working with the Canterbury A&P Show (check out this year’s City Farm event) and helping to create Official Visitor Guides for Christchurch, Canterbury, Hanmer Springs, Hurunui, Kaikoura, Mackenzie & Waitaki.
But Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works – with this 2018 MBIE tourism forecast now feeling like it’s from an alternative universe
So what are the new current future trends of New Zealand tourism? And what does that mean when it comes to marketing and how and where you will travel?
Whilst Airbnb has given the power to people to open their houses and earn a little more cash, it has also caused issues making many feel that it has turned communities into hotels. But the data the company collects on bookings and travel destinations does give us a hint on the future of tourism.
In this recent video, Airbnb’s CEO says people in 2020 are getting in their cars instead of heading onto planes, going to that rural corner instead of a metropolis, and staying there longer perhaps even travelling short distances – fundamentally being around the corner from their own homes just for a change of scenery.
And that is why Airbnb is moving towards connecting their hosts to local events and activities. This will mean a local region will have an extra outlet to engage with tourists staying in the area. On top of the informative and very useful local brochures, signage and info boards once they arrive.
If we are to see tourists staying in an area for longer, it is key local tourist gems and communities support each other to build their profile and to hopefully outrank the region next door in a potential tourist’s mind as the place to go.
This could mean collectively living to the region’s brand, increasing local businesses marketing knowledge and abilities, and having specialized websites that are fresh and bring in key tourist audiences.
A great example is Glacier Country.
By focusing on what brings tourists to the area and then going further to include hidden gems, places to stay and things to do, this website encapsulates the philosophy of staying in the area discovering everything it has to offer.
Fewer People, More Touchless
With tourists going rural (something that isn’t hard for NZ) and staying in one area for longer, there is still a concern of Covid-19 spreading, so touchless technologies are likely to grow.
Expect to see needing to use your phone more often to gather info and to make purchases and perhaps technologies like VR, robots and speech assistance to gain further investments. And who knows what this could lead to when it comes to engaging visitors abroad or already here.
Perhaps someone in Paris could one day put on a VR helmet and operate a robot with their voice to walk the Routeburn!
What was still vital in 2018 and is now very vital for a post-COVID world is the need for tourist regions to continue a long-term marketing strategy.
This should involve telling stories, showing the best things an area has to offer, using deals and being on every social media platform to bring to life local-life, the scenery and the escape that region provides.
It is this type of ongoing content that makes those living close-by revisit for a weekend break and makes those north islanders decide to stay in your region long-term.
Beck & Caul has a long history working with tourist attractions, hotels, events and councils. So get in touch if you would like to bring to life your local region.