Tourism New Zealand’s campaign ‘Messages from New Zealand’ shares a message to start a dialogue and create a connection with its international whānau (family), says Steven Dixon, Regional Trade Marketing Manager, Asia, Tourism New Zealand.
How do you plan to engage the trade in India?
With widespread travel restrictions and popular destinations closed, travel agents are now faced with extraordinary challenges. From this scenario, a different sort of marketing campaign has evolved from within our trade marketing department. ‘Messages from New Zealand’ presents the voices of New Zealand’s tourism industry – a community experiencing similar trials – with messages of inspiration. With borders closed, we aim to keep New Zealand alive and fresh for travel agents and then, as we get closer to reopening, to help them convert their clients’ desire to travel. ‘Messages from New Zealand’ are themed video vignettes from tourism operators in New Zealand speaking directly to travel agents.
We also hold monthly Virtual Road Trip webinars to keep agents updated on new products and regional news to build trade engagement and increase our New Zealand specialists. We recently conducted Virtual Road Trip webinars for Christchurch and Canterbury and West Coast. This month we will be highlighting the stunning natural landscapes, inspiring arts, and delectable artisan produce at Nelson Tasman.
New Zealand has ‘ambassadors’ in India as well. How will that help keep the inspiration alive?
We have identified ‘ambassadors’ in each of our markets and have worked on the travel agents ambassador video series in India as well. The purpose is to build selling capability by having them share their tips and perspectives on why New Zealand is a great destination in relation to each theme: Great Outdoors, Adventure and Adrenaline, Cultural Journeys, Taste New Zealand, Relaxation and Romance, Wildlife and Nature. We appointed three ambassadors for this videos series, Sunila Patil (Veena World), Rajeev Kale, (Thomas Cook India) and Deepti Mehta (MakeMyTrip India).
How can the travel agent benefit from being part of the TNZ specialist programme?
The ‘100% Pure New Zealand Specialist’ programme is a free online training programme that has been designed to help travel agents increase their destination knowledge. Each new level of achievement will upgrade their status to Bronze, Silver or Gold where they can unlock a range of great benefits. Currently, we have a database of 2,032 agents in the NZSP programme of which 1,000 are in progress. Through Explore New Zealand Discount Programme, New Zealand tourism businesses offer discounts to international travel agents visiting New Zealand independently. There are currently over 1,000 New Zealand offers. However, applications for this are not being accepted until further notice while the New Zealand border is closed. Once agents create an account (i.e. complete 10 online modules and are Bronze Specialists), they get an opportunity to create a listing on newzealand.com that can help grow their business by connecting with people considering a visit.