Tourism New Zealand will initially focus on Australia with its extra $10 million in Government funding to boost the visitor numbers industry rocked by the coronavirus.
In the four weeks to February 9 visitor numbers from China slumped 30 per cent to 44,000 as Covid-19 spread and travel bans came into force. Tourism NZ estimates spending by Chinese visitors in the peak first three months of the year could cost between $250m and $500m.
The agency's chief executive Stephen England-Hall said some businesses focused on the China market would struggle to survive a prolonged tourism slump. There was concern about the impact of the tourism slump on other markets.
• What New Zealanders really think of tourism
• How tourism is 'eroding' NZ's world-famous environment
• NZ tourism braces for coronavirus hit, 9000 cancellations already
• Coronavirus: Govt ready to steady the tourism ship
''Given concern about general public health it will undoubtedly spill over to other markets - whether that is rational or irrational is a debate to be had.''
China is New Zealand's second biggest visitor market while the biggest, Australia, has been identified as the market with the most opportunity to benefit the upcoming shoulder season.
Tourism New Zealand aims to partner with the tourism industry to help fund and co-ordinate a new campaign in this market.
A campaign with airlines, airports and regions - Australia short break - was aimed at generating May to November arrivals.
An Australia winter campaign would increase investment in am existing 'This is how we winter' ski campaign which encourages off-peak and regional travel.
The campaign encourages July to October arrivals.
Tourism NZ gets $111m a year to market this country overseas and the extra $10m was announced last month in response to the deepening crisis.
England-Hall said New Zealand was competing for a smaller number of people prepared to travel because of Covid-19 fears and would work with global digital media partners and direct to consumer channels to target people with content who are still keen to travel despite the current environment.
"We've carefully considered where increased activity from us will have the most impact on short- and medium-term visitor growth," said England-Hall.
"While our plans are focused on growth from other markets, we very much look forward to renewing our activity in China and welcoming Chinese visitors back to New Zealand as soon as possible. We will be also be working on plans to reinvest in the market when the time is right."
Tourism NZ was not promoting this country in China but through social channels was expressing support and solidarity for people there.
He said New Zealand was competing for a smaller number of global travellers.
"It's incredibly competitive on the world stage right now with all destination marketers competing for visitors. We have some exciting and innovative work planned working with key partners to help us stand out from the crowd so we are ready to give it a good go."
In the medium term, Tourism NZ wanted to drive growth in the next spring-summer season.
In Britain, it was launching high impact activity to capitalise on demand from the post-Brexit travel market. The campaign is likely to result in travel during New Zealand's next summer.
In the United States, there was there would be increased marketing around new American Airlines routes out of Auckland and Christchurch and Air New Zealand to New York.
It would build on the success from recent Tourism New Zealand work like our collaboration with The Late show with Stephen Colbert.