A tactical campaign run by Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) in partnership with 20 of the city’s hotels has driven record bookings on WellingtonNZ.com and a surge in hotel bookings in May.
The 3 Nights for Two campaign saw WellingtonNZ.com booking revenue for the month up 60% on the same period last year and surpass $80,000 for the first time ever. The value of total accommodation and activity bookings made through the site was up 13% on the previous record month in February 2011 – a peak visitor period.
PWT Chief Executive David Perks says the organisation’s Hotel Monitor – which surveys 21 of the city’s hotels - also indicates an 18% increase in rooms sold in partner hotels in May, with the average dollar rate still increasing an average of $1.44.
The 3 Nights for 2 mini campaign – valid for accommodation bookings from 5 May - 25 July that include a Saturday night - was part of a strategy review that has seen the tourism organisation integrate more short-term tactical activity off the back of its Spoil Yourself in Wellington brand campaign. It is available through participating hotels’ own booking channels as well as WellingtonNZ.com.
“Wellington is consistently New Zealanders’ favourite destination, but domestic holiday decisions largely need a trigger,” Mr Perks says. “We are also dealing with a pretty unique environment right now so we decided to maximise the city’s popularity by going back to the basics, using a value-add deal to plug gaps in what was looking like a pretty soft winter.”
General Manager of CQ Hotels and Chair of the Wellington branch of the NZ Hotel Council Olivier Lacoua says after the expected slow start for a winter month, the city’s hotels had recorded an unprecedented surge in occupancy. Bookings came through thick and fast in May.
“I haven’t experienced such an increase within the Wellington market since I arrived in 2004. The tactical campaign was very welcomed by all hoteliers and does demonstrate the success you can achieve by working proactively together - especially during the anticipated soft demand period.”
Together with New Zealanders grabbing the opportunity to spend a weekend in their favourite city, Mr Perks says factors such as the filming of The Hobbit, increased arrivals from Australia, some displacement from Christchurch and perhaps meetings being brought forward in the year due to Rugby World Cup 2011 would also have played a part.