A campaign aimed to get more tourists from Victoria to visit Northland has been so successful it's being extended into more large Australian centres.
Earlier this year Tourism NZ ran a pilot project to attract more people from Victoria to visit Northland in the shoulder season.
Northland's beaches, including Matapouri's Mermaid Pools, Maori culture, the Bay of Islands, volcanic structures and forests featured in the extensive marketing campaign, with massive billboards going up along some of Melbourne's busiest roads and public spaces.
The two-month campaign was the first region-specific campaign Tourism NZ has done. The centrepiece of the campaign - dubbed "Every day a different journey in Northland" - was a giant mural of Tane Mahuta, on the corner of La Trobe and Swanston streets in central Melbourne.
The campaign has been ruled a big success, with a 40 per cent increase in passengers booked to Northland from Victoria. Spending by Victorian credit cards in Northland during the campaign was also up 18.2 per cent to $750,000.
In addition, total arrivals from the State of Victoria across New Zealand were up 18 per cent for the same period, showing that the regional campaign benefited not just Northland but all of New Zealand, Tourism NZ CEO Stephen England-Hall said.
Northland Inc Regional Promotions & Tourism general manager Paul Davis said the campaign had been a huge success and would now be extended to Sydney and Brisbane in an effort to get even more Australians to visit Northland, stay here longer and spend more money.
Mr Davis said Australia was already the largest visitor market for Northland, but they were also the visitors most likely to return for follow up visits.
"Those [credit card spend and extra visitors] are significant increases. That shows this was a huge success in attracting more visitors from Victoria," he said.
A similar campaign - focused on social media and posters in public places and targeting Sydney and Brisbane and Melbourne - will start from January to April next year targeting the shoulder season to get even more visitors from Australia from April.
Mr England-Hall said this was the first Tourism NZ campaign focused on a single region to test whether it could influence a shift in travel patterns.
"We are focused on encouraging more international visitors to the regions to share the economic benefits tourism delivers. The results of this test proved that yes we can and it will be incorporated into our future work, as well as shared with industry to support theirs," he said.
Northland was selected for the pilot due to its proximity to Auckland Airport and the range of visitor experiences that fit with the wider New Zealand marketing campaign.