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Campaign launches to sustain interest in New Zealand amid pandemic via Special Group

A new multi-agency campaign is being launched to promote New Zealand overseas amid border closures and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign by Special Group is a joint effort by Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Education New Zealand and New Zealand Story.

Tourism New Zealand said ‘Messages from New Zealand’ promotes the country’s reputation offshore “as a great place to live, study in, buy products from, invest in and visit again when the time is right”.

Tourism New Zealand’s chosen creative agency for this plight was Special Group, while Mindshare has been handling the media side of the account.

One of its videos features clips of every day and well known New Zealanders, showcasing the country’s identity and perspective.

“Even though the world can’t visit us right now, there are many ways consumers can choose to experience New Zealand, through our export products including New Zealand’s world-class food and beverage as well as digital content and experiences,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said.

“We’re working hard to encourage Kiwis to get out and try something new to support domestic travel and our tourism sector. At the same time, it’s equally important that we continue to build preference for New Zealand’s brand offshore to support exports today as well as drive our economic recovery when borders do reopen.”

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Peter Chrisp said it was important to keep the “brand of New Zealand alive”.

“This brand provides a ‘halo’ effect around the wide range of New Zealand companies that trade with the world, our food and beverage exporters, our tech companies, our investors,” he said.

MPI director-general Ray Smith said New Zealand had a global reputation for producing “some of the world’s finest food and beverage”.

“Our farmers, growers, fishers and processors take significant pride in what they produce, from our beautiful meat, fish and seafood to our top-quality wines, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables,” he said.

The campaign will run into 2021.

Tourism industry again seeks more government support

The tourism industry is pleading again for more support from the government.

A survey of member businesses has found nearly three quarters of them want the wage subsidy to continue past its current expiry date of 1 September.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said operators have had to cut costs to keep afloat without international tourism.

“They’re desperate to hang onto valuable staff, they have already made thousands of people redundant and they don’t want to be making more people redundant and they want to keep those people in jobs and the wage subsidy, if it was extended, could do that.”

Roberts said New Zealanders have done a great job of domestic travel, but nothing will replace the demand from the international market.

He said there have already been lots of casualties for the sector from the border closure.

“Tourism businesses are going through an incredibly stressful time, they’ve all changed their business model, essentially got smaller than they used to be … they want to keep operating, none of them want to throw in the towel and give up.”

But Roberts said without government support, some tourism businesses might not survive.

He said if more New Zealanders travelled mid-week, that would help operators keep their doors open.

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