The Sunshine Coast is rolling out the welcome mat and getting ready to again greet Kiwi visitors – a critical step for the region’s tourism recovery.
This follows the recent announcement by the New Zealand government that quarantine-free Trans-Tasman travel for Australians can resume.
Prior to the pandemic, New Zealand was the number one international market with 84,000 annual visitors, 650,000 room nights, and an economic value of $110 million.
Previously, the New Zealand holiday visitor would stay for an average of 7.9 nights, and with seasonal direct flights from Auckland, Kiwi travellers have found our climate, nature-based experiences and laid-back lifestyle particularly attractive over the winter months.
We know there is huge pent-up demand in New Zealand for international travel and have been working in the background to prepare for the borders to reopen. We have a dedicated resource in New Zealand that has been developing strategies and activities for our market re-entry.
This includes a ‘For real’ multi-channel campaign which follows the successful first phase of the campaign that was rolled out earlier in the year. The campaign is ideally timed, to encourage Kiwis to take a winter break and come and enjoy the breadth and depth of experiences available on the Sunshine Coast.
Also, over the coming months, VSC will roll out a robust industry development program “Restart-New Zealand”, which will comprise mentoring and a set of workshops to assist Sunshine Coast operators to maximise opportunities from the New Zealand market.
We look forward to welcoming back services from Auckland into the Sunshine Coast Airport from June 28, with Air New Zealand currently offering direct flights three times a week.
Matt Stoeckel is the CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast