Survey finds area ticking boxes as travel destination

Tourism Central Otago says the region is punching well above its weight as a travel destination.

The organisation commissioned a market perceptions report, outlining what tourists thought of the Central Otago region.

The survey was targeted around Central Otago and would not bring in southern lakes towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown.

Research confirmed Central Otago as a destination sat well above the regional benchmark and ticked all the boxes as a recommended travel destination.

The Angus & Associates Market Insights research surveys New Zealand domestic and Australian visitors. It was a key tool to assist Tourism Central Otago (TCO) in understanding how recent visitors and potential future visitors perceive Central Otago as a destination.

A critical insight is the destination’s net promoter score, which is a metric used to measure the balance between advocates and detractors. An NPS of greater than +1 means more supporters than detractors. The higher the score the stronger the support.

"For 2023 Central Otago returned a NPS of +44% versus the national benchmark of +18% for other regions of New Zealand who partake in the research.

"This confirms what we have thought anecdotally is true," Tourism Central Otago head of destination Antz Longman said.

"People and our places are exceptionally appealing and that this really is one of the best places in New Zealand to visit.

"We are still analysing the full report. However, it is clear the destination is particularly appealing to travellers for a short break or holiday, with 97% of recent New Zealand travellers saying that the destination is very or somewhat appealing."

In the past year, three in four New Zealanders travelled domestically and 9% of them visited Central Otago, while 6% of Australians who travelled to New Zealand in the past 12 months visited Central Otago.

The research also looked at the things travellers associated with Central Otago. Wine, cycling and warm weather came out on top.

The research showed 39% of New Zealand travellers associated Central Otago with wineries, breweries or distilleries, an increase of 2% on 2022.

This association increased to 68% for recent visitors to the region.

Nearly 40% of New Zealand travellers associated Central Otago with cycling and mountainbiking, an increase of 2% on 2022. This association increased to 61% for recent visitors.