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In the next phase of its Ambition 2020 initiative1, Auckland Airport is launching a new high-profile traveller campaign to grow inbound tourism from Taiwan – a strategically important growth market for the New Zealand tourism sector.
The first Taiwanese celebrity guests, television news anchor HaiYin Chen and her renowned architect husband Lienchuan Yu, have just completed an eight-day tour in New Zealand this week which included the Queenstown Winter Festival.
Their tour marks the beginning of a campaign targeting this untapped market, as Auckland Airport hosts a series of high-profile travelers to promote ‘all-seasons’ New Zealand – aiming to influence travellers to consider and choose New Zealand as a place to visit.
Taiwan has a population of 23 million and is considered a mature and high-value market that could, at a minimum, increase to about 21,000 inbound visitors to New Zealand per year by 2020 – potentially bringing, at the very least, an additional $70 million dollars to the economy.
The Taiwan campaign follows the announcement of trade pact talks with New Zealand later this year – vitally important as Taiwan is our largest butter importer, fourth largest fresh fruit importer and eighth largest export market.
The new Taiwan-centric celebrity campaign comes at the end of a highly successful nationwide series of Auckland Airport ‘LETS GET READY’ workshops designed to better understand and attract premium travellers from Asia.
Glenn Wedlock, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial for Auckland Airport, says the campaign, and HaiYin, a lead anchor for ETTV Taiwan’s Eastern Evening News in particular, are of significant value as brand ambassadors to our country as they use their enormous social media presence to share the New Zealand experience with their fan-bases back home.
“Bringing HaiYin and Lienchuan here and showing them, and their fans back in Taiwan, what New Zealand has to offer is part of our successful strategy to promote local tourism destinations and develop our nation’s reputation as a must-visit travel destination,” says Mr Wedlock.
“HaiYin has drawn in more than 25,600,000 visitors to her online blog posts alone, a massive following we’re hoping to tap into to grow tourism from Taiwan.”
Identified as a strategically important market in the airport’s Ambition 2020 initiative, Auckland Airport is focused on creating more quality products to offer the Taiwan market following the resumption of Auckland to Taipei flights (via Brisbane) in 2011 (by China Airlines).
Auckland Airport believes that, as with many other expanding tourism markets in Asia, additional inbound capacity will stimulate and drive significant visitor growth. The 2009 introduction of a Visa Free programme has been another key factor, with an immediate and positive impact on visitor numbers.
HaiYin made regular updates and shared her views of our country with her fans at home as she toured New Zealand and visited top tourism locations in Auckland, the central North Island and lower South Island.
Her husband Lienchuan Yu, who holds a Masters of Architecture from Cornell University, USA, and was recently highlighted for his work on their own home – being named one of Taiwan's Top 20 Residential Designs.
This activity was conducted in conjunction with Taiwan’s largest travel wholesalers, who are being hosted at the Queenstown Winter Festival to meet with suppliers and experience the region first-hand.
While in New Zealand the pair experienced:
· Auckland – CBD, Waiheke Island and Harley Davidson tour
· Hamilton – Zealong Tea Farm (an ultra-premium grower of oolong tea, extremely popular with tea connoisseurs in southern China)
· Matamata – Hobbiton Village
· Waitomo Caves
· Matakana – Sheep World and Brick Bay Vineyard
· Queenstown – Amisfield Vineyard, Arrowtown, Lake Hayes, Queenstown Winter Festival, night skiing and the highest sky diving
· Glenorchy – Dart River jet boating.