Visits mean global exposure for city

Hamish Saxton
Hamish Saxton
At least a dozen international media and travel groups will visit Dunedin in the next month, resulting in worldwide exposure for the city.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said April was a typically busy month for tourism, media and trade ''famils'' (familiarisations), but the coming weeks could set a record.

''It's one of the busiest months from a trade and PR perspective that I can remember,'' he said.

On Wednesday, journalists from five Shanghai media institutions arrive in Dunedin, shortly after a contingent of Shanghai models touch down for iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

Crews for an Indonesian luxury magazine and a German television production company also arrive in Dunedin early in April, as well as five visitor market and tourism trade representatives from Brisbane, who will further promote Dunedin's direct air link with Australia.

Four United States travel writers will be hosted in Dunedin later in the month.

In addition to future exposure from visiting groups, Dunedin is now being featured in various media publications, including Brisbane Airport's BNE magazine.

Tourism Dunedin has also recently helped host a contingent from the Japanese ''high end'' magazine Kateigaho, as well as Blackadder star Sir Anthony ''Tony'' Robinson.

Trade famils to Dunedin in the next few weeks will bring agents from Indian luxury travel agencies, those from the South Asian and Southeast Asian markets, Chinese delegates and Australians.

A national corporate tourism group is also staying in Dunedin to explore the city's venues and facilities for conferences.

''This is simply promotional activity that we would never be able to afford to buy as advertising,'' Mr Saxton said.

Tourism Dunedin trade sales representative Gil Abercrombie will also travel to London and Zurich in the next month to promote the city abroad and help travel agents include Dunedin on itineraries.

Mr Saxton said the increasing number of tourism and media professionals visiting Dunedin was the result of additional funding through Tourism New Zealand for investment in emerging markets, and the long-term efforts of Tourism Dunedin staff.

There was also a widespread push to promote Christchurch as a viable destination again, which had spin-off benefits for the entire South Island, he said. Not all return on international exposure will be immediate.

Corporate events were being planned for as far ahead as 2020, and many itineraries did not change for at least 18 months, Mr Saxton said.

Regardless, Dunedin was set to reap the rewards of the exposure, he said.

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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