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Aussie Skiers Boost New Zealand Tourism
Visits from Australia to New Zealand were also found to be 2% higher during the winter period than in the peak 2007-08 summer months of December, January and February.
George Hickton, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand attributed the 'bumper tourism numbers' largely to a cohesive marketing campaign run by the New Zealand Ski Tourism Marketing Network (Ski TMN) and Tourism New Zealand.
"The recession and a combined New Zealand marketing push in Australia has resulted in this winter season outstripping summer arrivals in 2007-08 and that is something we could not have foreseen given the current economic downturn."
The campaign started in February 2009 with ski specific television commercials and they were followed by print and online advertising targeted at East Coast Australians.
The Ski Areas Association of New Zealand (SAANZ) on-mountain survey shows that the majority of Australian's holidayed in New Zealand for either seven or eight days (36%) or 10 to 14 days (27%).
"This length of stay benefits both the ski resorts and the surrounding regions directly as we know that Australian's intersperse their holidays with off-mountain activities during their visits.
"It is a feature that makes a New Zealand winter ski holiday different for Australians", comments Trish May from the Ski TMN.
"The 2009 winter season has certainly been a spectacular one. A number of aligned macro factors pre and early season, coupled with a targeted and extensive snow campaign by the Ski TMN, underpinning efforts by Tourism New Zealand, has delivered Australian skier/rider numbers in spades", says David Ovendale NZSki Ltd's General Manager of Sales and Marketing.
"The 2009 season will go down as a record for us on many levels, partly due to the world class product on offer on the ground, but in no small part also thanks to the co-operative efforts of a diverse bunch of interest groups under the umbrella of the Ski TMN.
"It has been a fantastic effort by many and the ski areas and operators in the great regions have certainly benefited from the hard work and focus of the Ski TMN partners", added Ovendale.
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