Oct 19, 2016

Avoid Becoming Tourism New Zealand's "Average" Tourist to New Zealand

In a recent post by Tourism New Zealand golf was cited as an "increasingly popular activity" with 60% year-on-year growth out of the United States in 2015-2016. 

Great news for Best of New Zealand Golf!

And although the article cites a number of markets which are growing, as well as reasons why golf is such a hot area for the country, a point that should not go missed is that golf tourists "tend to be slightly more satisfied with their visit to New Zealand than the average visitor"

So, expectations for golf holidays to New Zealand are better met or exceeded than those of the "average visitor". Or, put another way, there is less dissonance between the assumptions and the actual experience received when on a golf trip to New Zealand.

Who is this golfing visitor versus average visitor anyway? And why does this difference exist?

The Golfer is:

  • in the minority, in that only 3% of international visitors play golf while on holiday to New Zealand
    • Thus playing golf is an activity which is not under tremendous tourist pressure
  • predominantly from Australia or the United States (88% of the golfing visitor market)
  • spends time while on holiday on golf courses
    • Playing golf takes 4+ hours and allows one to take in the natural surroundings
  • experiences an activity which is uniquely Kiwi in that it can not be experienced at home
  • someone who has done their homework or had guidance in doing so
    • One does not stumble upon a four hour round of golf... it's done with a purpose in mind

To understand more fully what the makeup of the "average" visitor is to New Zealand, we examine those from the top 12 countries in 2015/2016 (referenced here)

The "Average" Visitor is:

  • 37.7% from Australia (growing at 9% Y2Y), 
  • 37.4% from Asia (growing at 29% Y2Y), 
  • 24.9% from North America or Europe (growing at 14% Y2Y) 

Many of these visitors are booking their holidays via large OTAs (Online Travel Agents) and relying on popular travel site suggestions. Unfortunately, information on the internet is their least common denominator and the same source for the other 1+ million "average" visitors.

And herein lies the problem for the "average" visitor!

Tourism New Zealand continued path of their current strategy is to create "scale" for the country. The goal is to get visitors into New Zealand and OTAs are being funded due to their reach with a global audience. However, in being an "average" visitor one actually loses because there is no intelligence in using an OTA. These tools, by their nature, allow individual visitors to increase pressure on highly-trafficked tourist activities and areas... with little regard to infrastructure. 

Bookings made via "scale" are done so without insight or regard for the complete experience of the trip to New Zealand. This is not the "average" visitors fault, as they do not realize or have the experience to avoid Queenstown (for example) during Spring Festival. The outcome is that their expectation is not met and New Zealand's long-term brand suffers as a result.

It does not have to be this way.

Tourism New Zealand's quest for "scale" in the country achieves great short-term growth numbers (17% overall in 2015/2016) but ultimately is a disservice to the longer-term sustainability of the brand. The "average" tourist is thus misinformed as to the experience that they may expect and marketed a low-cost and common un-Kiwi experience. This relegates them to the worst rooms in a faceless hotel while attending activities that are attended by the other 500 tourists who have fallen into the same low-price + low-intelligence = low-value trap.

Tourism New Zealand enables the propagation of a diluted authentic Kiwi experience in the name of higher short-term tourist numbers. Planning a trip with expertise and an understanding of how and when to avoid these high-pressure accommodations and locations (as the golfer does) will result in a better experience and obtaining higher value for the money and time spent.

And thus how you may avoid being an "average" tourist and get more satisfaction with your visit to New Zealand.

Source: http://www.tourismnewzealand.c...

Author: editor editor