Beyonce jump puts NZ in spotlight briefly

By Jamie Small

Beyonce's adventurous jump off the Sky Tower is great publicity for New Zealand, says a New Zealand tourism expert.

Hooked up to elastic cables, the singer jumped from the tower while in Auckland for a four-concert tour. She posted photos and video on her Tumblr account afterwards.

Professor James Highan from the University of Otago said the stunt was automatic promotion for New Zealand's adventure tourism. "An activity like this does sit quite nicely with New Zealand's destination image," he says.

He said if a large audience viewed the jump, that had to be good for the country.

American blogger Perez Hilton and British tabloid the Daily Mail have posted the images and video, putting the potential audience in the millions and sparking a social media buzz. Hilton can attract up to 14 million views in a day.

A video has also emerged of Stan Walker leading a haka for Beyonce, to which she responded with her own take on the Maori challenge.

However, Highan advised against expecting billions of dollars to flood into the tourism industry as a result.

"The other side is that these images are a flash-in-the-pan on things like YouTube," he says. "There's a very quick turnaround of attention span ... who knows what people will be looking at in 12 hours?"

Highan said New Zealand should make the most of the free promotion while it lasted. "The key for a small destination like New Zealand is to make those marketing dollars go as far as possible by being innovative and different."

- Herald on Sunday

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