Tourism New Zealand says the visitor industry will have to get used to abrupt change, like bubble pauses, for the next months and years.
The Government agency turned off its marketing activity in Australia aimed at more intrepid travellers following the pause in the transtasman bubble and has refined its domestic message to account for Wellington's alert level change.
The agency's chief executive Rene de Monchy said plans could change quickly.
''I think this is going to be the nature of the sector for the next months or years - this variability that everybody in the tourism sector is going to have to get used to and adapt.''
While difficult for the marketing efforts of Tourism NZ (TNZ), operators were doing it much tougher. Tourism operators had been looking for a big boost from school holiday visitors from Australia but those hopes have been sunk for now by the Covid-19 outbreak across the Tasman.
TNZ's campaign in Australia ''Stop dreaming about NZ and Go' had been paused for now, said de Monchy.
He said the timing of a TNZ-funded visit to Queenstown in the last few days by an Australian TV crew was ''unfortunate'' but the marketing opportunity was not lost as coverage of the area would build desire to travel in the future.
The agency has just launched a four-year plan and is today briefing the industry about it.
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One of the aims of research TNZ has underway was to get to know which travellers are more open to travelling during the pandemic, and their new expectations.
''Some people are more open to take perceived risks than others. Knowing your target audience is always important and it's even more important now,'' said de Monchy.
Health and safety was at the top of the list for everybody right now.
The agency was doing more work on campaigns that could be rolled out in key markets such as the United States and China when borders re-open. Tourism NZ has maintained a lower level marketing presence in key markets since Covid-19 hit to avoid ''going dark'' and having to start from scratch.
Focus areas of the plan include:
Building brand desire to make New Zealand ''irresistible to visitors'' that will enrich the country. Tourism NZ is going to have to fight for visitors in an incredibly competitive environment and particularly challenging for New Zealand given its remote location, air connectivity and cost.
De Monchy said although the pandemic had been brutal for operators it had reminded them of the importance of the domestic market, which accounted for 60 per cent of spending pre-Covid.
TNZ would continue to focus on encouraging this and establish this market as a foundational one to create long-term value for New Zealand.
It would also embed te ao Māori into TNZ's strategy, work, and ways of working, beyond marketing campaigns.
To help support industry to deliver good experiences it will work with Qualmark to help lift the quality of the visitor experience even higher, through their work with the i-SITE network and its role in Tiaki – Care for New Zealand.