In the wake of the Christchurch quake and the intense international media coverage that followed, many businesses—and plenty of individuals—have been trying to let the world know that New Zealand is still able to be toured and explored. As you'd expect, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has been leading that charge and has launched a campaign called New Zealand is Open, which saw ads run in Australian and United Kingdom national Sunday papers last weekend.
The campaign, which has a tagline of 'You’ll never be more welcome than right now', features photographs of tourism operators holding up open signs outside of their business, demonstrating that the Kiwi tourism sector is up and running, and that the best thing people around the world can do to support Christchurch is to visit New Zealand.
Many of the shots are from Queenstown, with a mix from other tourism hot spots around the country. And while tourists are being advised to skip Christchurch at the moment, there is a photo of a genuine tourism operator from the region.
Regional Tourism Organisations and operators were asked to submit images for inclusion in press advertising and TNZ's chief executive Kevin Bowler says the stakeholders have been enthusiastic about the initiative (the full range of images submitted for inclusion in the press advertising can be found on Tourism New Zealand's Facebook page).
Over the past few weeks TNZ has hosted many international media from a variety of countries, including the UK, Australia, France, Canada and Japan to show them the rest of New Zealand. Work is also underway to develop a social media campaign targeting New Zealanders and past visitors to share their favourite New Zealand experience.
As this official campaign goes live, bloggers around the country also did their bit to help spread the word about New Zealand with the Blog4NZ initiative, a social media campaign that produced over 200 blogs encouraging readers to visit and experience destinations around the country. This was also created in order to confirm to potential travellers that New Zealand is still open for business.
"It's only a month since the Christchurch earthquake and we know there is much work to do. Positively shifting international perceptions to the view that New Zealand is open and ready to welcome visitors will go some way to ensuring visitor numbers over the next few months remain strong," Bowler says.