Auckland and Wellington have recently prostrated themselves in front of their fellow countryfolk with campaigns aimed at luring more domestic visitors, a group that makes up around 60 percent of the total tourism take but often seems to be overlooked in favour of the glitzy foreigners. And Rotorua has followed suit by starting up a three-year, $2.25 million conversation called ‘Famously Rotorua’ that aims to get affluent northern urbanites to head past the Bombays for a bit of nature, culture and excitement.
Oscar Nathan, general manager at Destination Rotorua Marketing, says the place has changed and the campaign, which features a tagline ‘You should see us now' and references a kitschier tourism time with the retro font, is aimed at Kiwis who have lost touch with Rotorua, as well as those who never touched it in the first place.
Destination Rotorua Marketing, in partnership with APN, is pulling out all the stops to capture the imagination of the domestic tourism market. Picturesque billboards highlighting five key tourism attractions (Te Puia, Hells Gate, Polynesian Spa, Agrodome and Skyline) in locations such as Ponsonby and Newmarket tell Aucklanders things like 'Your soul will thank you’ and ‘Fibre of the gods. Here now’.
But it isn’t just about the billboards; it's got it all: PR, TV, digital, social media, and a quarterly magazine, conveniently named Famously Rotorua, launched in the Herald that sent out 48,000 full-colour, 56-page tourism guides to the wealthier suburbs.
It's dead keen to showcase its unique ‘local secrets’ "to people who like escaping the big smoke to indulge in nature, unique and indigenous cuisine, adventure and quality family experiences". And, with the international tourism market a tough ask at the moment, the campaign, which was created by Auckland-based MediaR will eventually go national in an effort to increase visitors—and, longer term, permanent Roto-Vegas residents.