Grant Bradley

Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Oz tourism boss backs 100% Pure promo

Consistency of campaign launched in 1999 wins respect as Tasman neighbours team up to entice tourists.

Tourism New Zealand's 100% Pure campaign has won strong support from its counterpart across the Tasman.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the 14-year-old campaign was one of the best in the world.

Although it has been criticised as being impossible to live up to because of environmental problems and food scares, McEvoy said the target audience could make a distinction between an isolated problem such as Fonterra's botulism scare and the country as a whole.
"I think it's one of the most successful global campaigns ever launched by a destination. It was launched in 1999 and here we are in 2013 - they've stuck with it and in our industry consistency and longevity matter, so full compliments to them."

McEvoy, in Auckland for a Tourism Australia promotion, said he did not think the Fonterra scare would have a long-term impact.

Andrew McEvoy.
Andrew McEvoy.

"It's an important story and you don't want it to happen again but I think the world understands that places like Australia and New Zealand do have fantastic natural environments."

He said the perception of Australia took a hit in 2009 when Indian students were bashed in Melbourne and Tourism Australia was forced to change tack with its marketing in India.

It gave up its "There's nothing like Australia" promotion and used an Australian-resident Indian chef and a Bollywood couple who had been to Australia six times to promote the country.

McEvoy did not think such issues had as big an impact as was sometimes portrayed locally.

While New Zealand and Australia competed for long-haul travellers from the Northern Hemisphere and medium-haul visitors from Southeast Asia, there was increasing collaboration between tourist authorities and tourism businesses, he said.

This could be practical steps such as sharing the costs at trade shows around the world or regular meetings between Tourism Australia and Tourism New Zealand.

The countries faced hot competition among tourist agencies to attract visitors. There were more than 180 tourist organisations from different countries operating in Britain and in 1999 Australia and New Zealand were the only two countries to get "approved destination" status in China; now there are 147 countries.

"If we're mature about it in some capacities Australia and New Zealand should line up together as a very appealing part of the world that must compete against other regions. When it makes sense we should co-operate."

A bust-up with Qantas resulted in that airline withdrawing its A$44 million ($50 million) deal with Tourism Australia so the organisation was now working with 24 different carriers, including Air New Zealand.

A 50:50 A$6 million deal with the airline is aimed at attracting more international visitors from three of Australia's largest and most valuable inbound markets - New Zealand, North America and China.

McEvoy said marketing over a range of media targeted at potential visitors would "get them on to an Air New Zealand aircraft and hopefully on to Australia".

Of all United States visitors to Australia 30 per cent go on to visit New Zealand and 15 per cent of those coming to New Zealand go on to Australia.

"There's a market there that wants to do both. Country boundaries should not get in the way of that," he said.

The 2015 Cricket World Cup was a big opportunity for joint marketing of both countries.

"The TV coverage for both countries will be quite powerful, especially in India where cricket isn't a matter of life and death - it's more important than that."

McEvoy said his organisation was working with Tourism New Zealand to tap into the Indian market.

It was estimated about 1500 journalists would cover games - spread through Australia and New Zealand - and the tournament would be a drawcard for businesses which would use it as an excuse to travel.

McEvoy said this summer's return Ashes cricket series in Australia promised to be a bigger drawcard for England's Barmy Army now that their side was dominant.

Top five reasons why Kiwis visit Australia

About 1.2 million New Zealanders visit Australia a year for these reasons:

* Value for money
* Safe and secure
* Friendly and open
* Food and wine
* Good-quality accommodation
Source: Tourism Australia

- NZ Herald

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