The second course of the WLG pop up restaurant is estimated to have reached a cumulative audience of well over 9 million people in Australia through news, blogs and social media.
The sell-out serving of the culinary capital in Melbourne’s Fitzroy district, which saw close to 2000 diners enjoy a taste of Wellington’s world class food and hospitality, also received extensive news coverage in New Zealand and reached as far afield as the UK, India and Germany.
Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says project analysis revealed 97 news clippings had a total reach of over 8.2 million people in Australia, with highlights including coverage on Channel Ten News, breakfast radio coverage on 3AW, and stories in The Age, Weekend Australian, Australian Financial Review and Herald Sun.
Over 1000 tweets were tracked with a total reach of close to 300,000 on Twitter, 20 food blogs were posted, and facebook engagement had a reach of around 15,000.
“WLG is a two-fold project where we both develop on-the-ground ambassadors and leverage the project to create buzz and publicity about Wellington,” Mr Perks says.
“The WLG team comprising Positively Wellington Tourism staff, chefs, restaurateurs, hospitality professionals and regional food and beverage producers did an extraordinary job in creating a genuine slice of Wellington in another country and wowing a discerning Melbourne audience.”
Sydneysider Amie Roberts flew to Melbourne especially to dine at WLG after hearing the pop up restaurant was crossing the Tasman for a second time.
“My boyfriend and I attended the WLG event in Sydney and had such a great time that when we heard it was coming to town again, but this time to Melbourne, we booked our flights and accommodation and decided to make a weekend of it. Our expectations were high and it didn’t disappoint - the staff were fantastic and the food was scrumptious!”
The 29-year-old Executive PA has never been to Wellington, but is now planning to visit as part of a short break in New Zealand next year.
To date over 37,000 people have viewed Air New Zealand’s ‘Restaurant Safety’ ticket giveaway, where 60 WLG diners were given return flights to Wellington with their meal. Air New Zealand’s Australia Marketing Manager, Kelly Millier, says the flight giveaway was a gesture by the airline to highlight the increased schedule frequency between Melbourne and Wellington as part of the airline’s alliance partnership with Virgin Australia.
“WLG provided us with the perfect opportunity to engage, not only with Melburnians but, with a national audience through the release of our Restaurant Safety content. We’ve been delighted to help serve up a little taste of what the world’s coolest little capital has to offer, and encourage Australians to now go and check it out for themselves.”
Direct visitor arrivals into Wellington from New South Wales increased 10% following WLG Sydney in September 2010, which was nominated for an Asia-Pacific SABRE PR award alongside Expedia.com.au, Disneyland and Madame Tussauds. Total Australian arrivals in the 12 months to September 2011 are up 10%, compared to a national growth of 0.07%