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Wellington seeking 35% increase in Australian Visitor Arrivals by 2007

Travel News Asia 2 June 2005

Wellington, New Zealands national and cultural capital, has commenced a campaign to lift Australian visitor numbers by 65,000, or 35 per cent, by 2007.

The citys visitor marketing organisation, Positively Wellington Tourism, is targeting the soaring short break holiday market, as part of a strategy to position Wellington as a holiday destination in its own right, and not just a stopover point.

Australians know New Zealand as a destination for skiing, touring and exciting outdoor experiences, said Chris Lamers, General Manager Marketing for Positively Wellington Tourism.

We are not seeking to change this, he said. But we are appealing to another segment of the market the middle to upper income earners who are looking to slow down rather than rev up for a few days.

We are highlighting not only the cultural and culinary attractions of Wellington, but the fact that our city is an easy flight from eastern Australia and a shorter journey than many Australian domestic flights such as Sydney to Perth, Brisbane to Hobart or Melbourne to Cairns, said Mr Lamers.

We have also joined forces with Wellington Airport to highlight the number of non-stop flights and the wide range of discount air fares offered from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by our airline partners, Air New Zealand, Qantas and Pacific Blue.

Currently there are 53 non-stop flights per week from Australia to Wellington 27 from Sydney, 12 from Brisbane and 14 from Melbourne. And there are even more avenues to Wellington flying via other New Zealand cities.

The first phase of Wellingtons campaign for more Australian visitors is a finely-targetted promotion of wine and the arts within Wellington City and the neighbouring wine regions of Martinborough and Marlborough.

This print campaign is initially focused on Sydney, the largest Australian market and the city with the most nonstop flights to Wellington.

But Wellingtons Australian marketing will soon expand to include Brisbane and Melbourne, as part of a broader campaign in partnership with Tourism New Zealand.

Mr Lamers said New Zealanders frequently took short break holidays in Australia but Australians had not yet embraced to the same extent the concept of quick leisure trips to New Zealand.

This is surprising, as short breaks are a well-known and widely-accepted concept in Australia, and are promoted heavily through specific campaigns such as Victorias very successful Jigsaw advertisements or the Sydney weekend promotions, said Mr Lamers.

When Australians think about short stay holidays, we want them to think about Wellington, which is not only New Zealands cultural capital, but a very close and very appealing overseas destination, which offers a whole new range of options for a whole new category of travellers who simply want a few days away from their routines.

Together with our partners, including Te Papa Museum and the Cook Strait ferry operator InterIslander, we will continue to build a combined campaign to sell our city and neighbouring regions to Australian travellers. We are sure that once they see what we have to offer, they will want to come back.

See other recent news regarding: Visitor Arrivals, Wellington, Australia

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