Interview by Andy Ogg, CTIE, Senior Editor – Travel Professional NEWS®
Interviewing: Kim McVicker, Trade Marketing Executive , North America – Tourism New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand recently premiered an updated brand campaign, 100% PURE New Zealand Welcome. Can you describe what is new about this brand position?
Tourism New Zealand, over many years, has taken a strategic journey to evolve our unique brand and to bring to the surface what makes New Zealand truly unique. Our approach always focuses around three core messages, Manaakitanga (the unique hospitality our guests experience), Tiaki (our duty of care for people & place) and finally Whanau (the way we embrace visitors as family).
As New Zealanders we like to think of ourselves as a warm, welcoming and inviting bunch! We’ll go to lengths to ensure that your clients have the time of their lives whilst visiting. Over the years we’ve showcased our stunning landscapes & culture, but now we feel it’s time to empower & introduce the unique people that your clients will meet throughout their journey – thus our new brand campaign 100% Pure New Zealand Welcome.
Because we are the first people to see the sunrise each day, we’ve got a bit more time up our sleeves to welcome your clients! Be sure to follow our consumer campaign @goodmorningworldnz on Instagram to hear a friendly Kiwi welcome each day & share this with clients to help inspire / formulate travel plans.
How is the 100% Pure Welcome brand campaign being introduced to travel advisors in North America?
In conjunction with our new Good Morning World consumer marketing campaign, we’ve created themed content and resources to help travel advisors capitalize on those experiences when discussing New Zealand with clients. We’ve called this trade campaign New Zealand Next.
New Zealand Next compromises six unique themes which we see are most desired by North American visitors to New Zealand. Each theme features a library of information and resources for travel advisors, including sales tools, sharable snackable content & inspiring itinerates.
The New Zealand Next themes target foodies, nature lovers, adventurers, romantics, culture explorers & active travellers. We’ve also crafted trade specific videos in which New Zealander suppliers speak to you about what your clients will experience when visiting, a few handy pointers, and an overview of the activity itself.
What programs do you have in place to educate travel advisors about your destination and what’s new?
We have several great resources to help educate and update travel professionals about New Zealand. Of course our most comprehensive resource is our Travel Trade website which hosts a wide variety of information from suggested itinerates, planning tools, and links to our image library.
We’re also really excited about our agent-only Facebook Community (join the fun – Tourism New Zealand Agent Group ( USA + CAN). Our Facebook community features product news, FAM opportunities, and also allows advisors to talk freely between one another as to activity, region / accommodation ideas in New Zealand. We really enjoy seeing the interactions on this page and following those advisors who are on FAM throughout their New Zealand journey.
Tourism New Zealand also offer the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Program, an online destination focused certification course. This programme allows you to learn at your own pace, selecting modules that best reflect your clients needs. Currently we have over 15 modules available, a few examples including regional courses, courses focused on selling skiing, self-drive, cruise, hiking & walking vacations just to name a few.
Once completed certified specialists have the opportunity to create agent listings on our consumer site & receive consumer referrals or leads. With over 30million visitors per year – each one of those being a potential new client!
Finally, I’d really encourage advisors to attend our monthly webinars. These live presentations provide locals tips, have different themes every month, and are a great way to learn more about the destination from the comfort of your office / home. If you’re lucky you may even learn some Kiwi slang!
Do you have any opportunities for travel advisors to experience New Zealand on FAM?
We are really pleased to have such amazing airline partners who allow us to offer Explore PLUS. This is an independent FAM opportunity entering it’s third year and is a great way for travel professionals who are wanting to increase their New Zealand sales to experience our stunning country first-hand. We’ve partnered with Air New Zealand, American Airlines and Fiji Airways to offer advisors plus discounted fares.
Once in New Zealand you will have access to travel advisor rates for accommodation, activities, and tours so you also can experience activities relative to your clients’ needs. This program is designed to assist travel professionals to design their own custom FAM, allowing you to travel when you want, to the regions of New Zealand that interest you.
As an incentive we really want to allow travel professional to move from New Zealand advisors & become New Zealand ambassadors ( because let’s face it – once you’ve been to a destination you understand it so much better) we are offering the first 40 applicants the opportunity to earn a $500 trip credit to help pay for your trip costs.
How can we find out more detail about the different regions in New Zealand?
New Zealand has an array of unique regions who all offer something truly special for your clients. Our Travel Trade web site holds a lot of information allowing you to dive deeper into the different regions / learn about the proximity to one another and the activity & accommodation options available.
We have also recently created a ‘Spotlight’ on regions which provide deeper insight into the experience your clients will have in these regions, the Mannakitanga (warm welcoming) your clients will experience, and also how these particular regions are unique to others around the country. Our spotlight currently features a deeper dive into the West Coast, Rotorua & also the Central North Island. Check out our Spotlight page here, and find out how you can experience these destinations for yourself with regional FAM opportunities.
New Zealand recently introduced a new visitor levy and visa requirement. What do advisors need to know?
As of October the 1st anyone visiting New Zealand who doesn’t hold a current New Zealand or Australian Passport will need to apply for an NZETA (Visa). The fee to enter New Zealand on an ETA is $5.70USD if you use the New Zealand tourism mobile app, or $7.60USD if applied for online through your web browser. You’ll also pay the IVL (International Visitor Levy) fee at the same time which covers tourism infrastructure in New Zealand which is $22 USD. All in all – this equates to about $30USD. To apply for both visa’s please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz