Work behind attracting right tourists going well

Tourism Central Otago head of destination Anthony Longman. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Tourism Central Otago head of destination Anthony Longman. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Connecting the right tourists with the community is paying off for Central Otago.

Tourism Central Otago head of destination Anthony Longman said a market perceptions report showed Central Otago well ahead of Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Marlborough with a "net promotor score" of 44% compared with the average of 18% across the other four destinations.

For the survey Central Otago excluded Queenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown, which were often thought of as part of the region, Mr Longman said.

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) was used to measure the balance between advocates and detractors.

An NPS of greater than one meant you had more supporters than detractors.

The higher the score the stronger the support.

"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% visited Central Otago, while 6% of Australians who travelled to New Zealand in the past 12 months visited Central Otago.

Tourism Central Otago, a regional tourism organisation (RTO), is part of the Central Otago District Council’s community engagement department.

Its role is to manage and market Central Otago as a visitor destination.

It has a budget for 2023-24 of $1,142,018 and a core staff of five fulltime equivalent staff.

Part of its role was to ensure the right tourists came to the region so they could have a good experience and the community could enjoy having them there, Mr Longman said.

People came to Central Otago to do what the local residents did — cycle and walk on trails, visit cafes and wineries.

It was important to attract people who were looking for that experience rather than night clubs and shopping malls.

TCO was part of the new Southern Way initiative which promoted longer stay, lower impact itineraries across the eight RTO’s in the lower South Island particularly targeted at Australian visitors.

Past research had shown people had a fondness for items from a place they had visited and were more likely to buy them when they returned home, Mr Longman said.

The research also found travellers associated Central Otago with wine, cycling and warm weather.