NZ Tourism Board CEO Gives Updates on Tourism Industry

Date:

Key Takeaways

  • New Zealand’s tourism industry was hit hard by COVID-19 and border closures.
  • Domestic tourism is rebounding, reaching around 50% of pre-pandemic levels.
  • The “100% Pure New Zealand” campaign promotes safety and outdoor attractions.
  • The aviation sector shows promise, particularly in North America.
  • The government’s Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme supports local businesses.
  • Ongoing challenges: revenue loss, border reopening uncertainty.
  • Hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup offers a potential tourism boost in the off-peak season.

Wellington, New Zealand–Online magazine, TravelPulse, published a report featuring an interview with René de Monchy, the CEO of Tourism New Zealand, in which he discusses the country’s biggest challenges, new initiatives, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by both New Zealand and Australia, later this year.

Challenges Amid Pandemic

New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with international borders remaining closed for over a year. However, the country is slowly seeing a resurgence in domestic tourism and preparing for international visitors’ eventual return.

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“We’ve just come through the back end of our summer, so our peak season is December, January, February, and it’s very encouraging to see that at a global level, we’ve been around 50 percent of where we were pre-pandemic, with the U.S. ahead of that curve,” said de Monchy in the report.

“100% Pure New Zealand” Campaign

Tourism New Zealand has launched a global campaign, ‘100% Pure New Zealand,’ to promote the country as a safe and desirable destination for international travelers. The campaign focuses on New Zealand’s natural beauty, unique culture, and outdoor activities, with the slogan “If You Seek.”

“We are very reliant on aviation, with Australia being our only short-haul market,” Monchy stated in the report, adding, “What’s been really encouraging is seeing aviation starting to scale back up – and it’s been perfect when you look at North America.”

According to Monchy, “The trip is always the first barrier for people to get over, and the easier it is for people to fly (on an airline) from a close-by airport they are familiar with, the easier it is for us to convince people to come and make the trip to New Zealand.”

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Government aids

The government has also provided financial aid to the industry to help get through the strain caused by the pandemic. The Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP), now closed for applications, was allocated to provide support for local tourism businesses, inbound tour operators (ITOs), and regional tourism organizations (RTOs).

Despite these positive developments, the industry still faces significant challenges. The lack of international visitors has resulted in a loss of revenue for many businesses, especially those that rely heavily on the international market. Many operators struggle to stay afloat; some have had to close their doors permanently.

In addition, the ongoing uncertainty around when international borders will reopen and what travel restrictions will be in place has made it difficult for businesses to plan and prepare for the return of international visitors.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

“We are super excited that in July and August, we co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and we will be hosting the U.S. team,” said Monchy in the report adding that it would give the country great exposure as the U.S. team was the world’s number one.

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The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will start on July 20, during the country’s winter (off-peak season), possibly attracting many international visitors.

What We Think

New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry is recovering, with domestic tourism picking up and international promotion campaigns underway. However, challenges persist, and the uncertainty surrounding border reopenings remains a concern.

Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a promising opportunity to showcase the country globally and boost tourism. New Zealand’s resilience and innovative campaigns will be instrumental in regaining its position as a desirable international destination.

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Victor Utomi
Victor Utomi
Victor is passionate about aviation, travel, nature, and crypto. He constantly explores new ideas and pushes the boundaries of what's possible. Whether he is reporting on the latest developments in the aviation industry, writing about adventures in exotic locales, advocating for environmental sustainability, or delving into the world of digital currencies, he is constantly seeking new challenges and opportunities for growth and inspiring others to do the same.

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