Tourism New Zealand is taking a big step in its new job of promoting this country to Kiwis with today's release of a video featuring some well-known faces.
Instead of selling this country overseas to tourists who can't come here, for now, the Government agency is pulling on the heartstrings with sports stars, broadcasters and ordinary Kiwis reeling off their bucket-list destinations and showing off matching scenery.
The video titled ''Do Something New New Zealand'' is a new take on the ''Don't leave town until you've seen the country'' campaign of the 1980s, which reminded New Zealanders that tourism started at home.
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Under alert level 2, domestic leisure travel is allowed and encouraged by the Government to help revive the hard-hit sector, which last year earned $23 billion from domestic visitors and about $17 billion from overseas tourists.
Between $7b and $9b was spent by Kiwis on overseas trips last year and with no international leisure travel in the foreseeable future, the tourism industry is hoping to capture some of this spending too but accepts a souring economy is a threat to this.
Tourism New Zealand - which has a budget of about $112 million a year - is leading work to ''reimagine'' domestic tourism. It says it is not stopping marketing of this country in key markets overseas though, as it would be too difficult to re-ignite interest in New Zealand if promotion stopped altogether.
The tourism sector employs nearly 230,000 people directly and most businesses will be among the main beneficiaries of the eight-week targeted extension of the wage subsidy announced in the Budget last week.
The Budget also committed $400 million for a tourism recovery fund to cover:
• A campaign to encourage New Zealanders to support the local industry, reminiscent of the "Don't leave home till you've seen the country" campaign of old. Domestic tourists normally account for a majority of tourism spending as it is.
• Tourism New Zealand providing businesses with advice about overseas market conditions, so they can "make good decisions about their futures".
• A process to identify — the announcement is bereft of detail — tourism assets which are strategic and "provide them with the protection and assistance they need so they will not be lost".
A survey released by Tourism NZ earlier this month showed that the sector had made significant changes to its operations to try and keep its business alive since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said many were now focused on welcoming Kiwis.
"The industry has been focused on survival, it's now time to work towards how we can thrive again and what is required to get there."
Three-quarters of the 1619 businesses which responded to the survey said they had changed their operations to adapt and 88 per cent of businesses think they can pivot their product to the domestic market.
"While there are tough roads ahead, I'm confident that there will be a viable and productive visitor economy for New Zealand. It's vital that we continue to support those who need it so that when activity does resume, there is a sector to return to," said England-Hall.
"Having this data was invaluable and we thank the industry and stakeholders who shared their information, experiences and ideas with us," said England-Hall.