Case put for building on 'wild things' campaign success

Dave Cull.
Dave Cull.
Dunedin's ''Where the Wild Things Are'' marketing campaign is delivering results, but a bigger budget would help capitalise on the city's success, it has been suggested.

A report to Tuesday's Dunedin City Council economic development committee meeting showed the three-year campaign - which is in its final year - had coincided with a jump in Australian visitor spending in Dunedin.

In the year to September, Australians spent $56.1 million in Dunedin, up 6.6%, compared with a 5.1% increase nationwide in the same period.

And, since 2015, Australian spending in Dunedin had climbed from a nearly decade-long low of $48.7 million, putting the increase for the last three years at 15.19%.

The 2017-18 increase also coincided with a 4% increase in passenger numbers on flights from Brisbane to Dunedin, and other measures were also up.

The campaign, which promoted Dunedin's attractions in the Queensland market, had met its key objectives and cost $496,720, split between Enterprise Dunedin, private tourism operators and organisations, including the University of Otago.

The report said the budget had been utilised ''as effectively as possible'' but an increase for future campaigns ''would ensure further cut-through''.

Asked about that at Tuesday's meeting, Enterprise Dunedin public relations and promotions adviser Sarah Bramhall said a budget increase would allow the campaign to be extended within Australia.

At present, the campaigned focused on Queensland, in the area closest to Brisbane, as the source of the direct flights to Dunedin.

A budget increase could allow the campaign to spread down the east coast of Australia and include television advertising, which was beyond the existing budget.

''It's quite a large market and our budget is more conservative than potentially would be ideal,'' she said.

That was yet to be decided, but Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull had another suggestion, telling Tuesday's meeting the idea of a joint approach with Queensland to boost tourism was being discussed.

The idea was to use Dunedin and Queensland's established links with Shanghai to boost Chinese visitor numbers to both areas, as well as the patronage of direct flights between Dunedin and Brisbane.

Queensland was a sister state to Shanghai, just as Dunedin was a sister city to Shanghai, and the two centres could leverage that by joining forces to promote themselves in the Chinese market, he believed.

The idea had been raised before, but was discussed again when Mr Cull ran into Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on a recent trip to Shanghai, he said.

''She seemed pretty interested in it.''

It was also being discussed with Dunedin International Airport's directors as a way to boost the security of Dunedin's only international direct flights.

''We are going to need to use all the tools at our disposal to encourage use of that flight.''

Tuesday's committee meeting began with a tribute to former long-serving Dunedin city councillor Neil Collins by deputy mayor Chris Staynes. Cr Collins (77), a city councillor for more than 22 years as well as a prominent Dunedin broadcaster, died on Sunday. His funeral is on Wednesday, November 28 in the Glenroy Auditorium.


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