Enticing Kiwis to travel the central North Island

Central North Island spokesperson and CEO of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, Jason Dawson. Photo: Supplied.

Six central North Island regions have banded together to entice New Zealand travellers to visit.

The new campaign ‘Get Out More NZ’ has launched this week to showcase the "big adventures that can be had within a short travelling distance". 

The Coastal Bay of Plenty, Hamilton & Waikato, Rotorua, Ruapehu, Tairāwhiti Gisborne and Taupō are inviting Kiwis to take a road trip through the diverse landscapes in the central North Island.

“The campaign pokes fun at some of the family lockdown experiences that we all shared and encourages Kiwis to ‘Get Out More’ now that we can travel safely again,” says central North Island spokesperson Jason Dawson.

“We’ve got grandads knitting, kids driving parents crazy and bored couples stuck inside watching the same television shows – experiences that our target markets can relate to. The campaign offers an alternative adventure to these markets by showcasing the unique experiences on offer in our regions.”

Jason says with New Zealand’s borders closed, the only lifeforce for New Zealand’s tourism industry is the domestic market. 

Prior to COVID-19, these regions worked together for more than a decade on international marketing projects as part of the wider Explore Central North Island alliance, he says.

While the rest of the country’s regional tourism organisations vie for a share of a relatively small potential travel market, this collective decided to take a different approach and work together.

In the wake of COVID-19, this shift in strategy is “what we call in the tourism industry a ‘pivot to the domestic market’,” says Jason. 

The campaign will run until Christmas and will appear across Google advertising, Facebook, and print advertising.

It is is targeting retirees, young families, and couples in the North Island and offers an "extensive collection" of ready-made itineraries on the newly built website

“It’s a compelling tool for travellers seeking ideas for a short break away or even a roadie. Users can either coordinate their travel themselves or seek help to book through the regions’ i-SITEs,” explains Jason.

The international marketing alliance was established to promote the central North Island to international markets under the now popular touring routes ‘Pacific Coast Highway’, ‘Thermal Explorer Highway’ and ‘Volcanic Loop’.

“As regions, our approach to collaborative solutions and cohesive marketing hasn’t changed – we are just talking to a difference audience. So much of the tourism landscape has been altered and our organisations have certainly had to swiftly shift focus to try and keep our industry going," says Jason. 

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