Posts filed under ‘Marketing’
While the summer period generally signals boom time for most Kiwi destinations, the balmy season’s arrival is conversely eyed with caution in the capital. December and January generally see the corporate market all but shut down, meaning Wellington’s hotels and restaurants have beds and seats to fill. As well as promote Wellington’s destination brand year-round, our job is to underpin this with tactical activity and events promotion that pushes the quieter seasons such as early summer and the depths of winter.
Summer in the City
With a Kids Stay Free campaign running, Game Masters on at Te Papa and plenty of other events on the summer schedule, the weather wasn’t the only thing hitting record temperature in Wellington this summer. December and January were both record months in terms of commercial guest nights, with an 8.7% growth in the domestic market across the two-month period. Wellington quadrupled the average national growth in December and our partner Hotel Monitor indicated a 7.76% increase in total rooms sold over the Kids Stay Free campaign stay period (15 Dec – 31 Jan). Strong out-of-town crowds for Nitro Circus Live and Hertz Sevens also then saw February hold strong, where usually we’d see a decent dip in year not featuring the biennial New Zealand Festival.
The Winter Forecast
Winter in Wellington isn’t known for its fine weather, but the forecast for tourism is looking very fine thanks to heavy showers of cultural events. From May right through to August there is an incredible performance programme, with NZ Opera’s Madame Butterfly, Wellington Jazz Festival on Cuba, Phantom of the Opera, The TelstraClear Season of Swan Lake, a series of NZSO concerts and Warhol: Immortal at Te Papa. Plus there’s a Bledisloe Cup match and Visa Wellington On a Plate in the mix, before spring brings with it the World of WearableArt Awards Show season.
We are currently planning an online cultural events promotion for winter, along with a TV and online campaign for Warhol: Immortal with Te Papa. The programme for Visa Wellington On a Plate will launch on June 10 and promises to be tastier than ever.
Where to from there?
We are also now getting set to develop the next generation of domestic brand campaign (currently Spoil Yourself in Wellington), with a Request for Proposal (RFP) for creative development and execution currently out in the market. As well as development of the next brand campaign, this process is focused on at the same time integrating solutions to our tactical challenges of Weekends, Winter, Summer and Easter - with a view to a three-year plan. Concurrent to this, we are undertaking updated research into the Domestic tourism market, with a national online survey and focus groups in Auckland and Christchurch. The climate in two of our major domestic target markets has changed significantly since Spoil Yourself in Wellington was developed in 2008. Our research is exploring how these changes in climate have – or, as the case may be, have not - affected the challenges and opportunities for Wellington as the country’s leading domestic short break destination. We are also examining triggers to action and campaign recall of both Wellington and competitor activity. So watch this space!
By Selena Murray
… But only with the help of the Wellington City Ambassadors (WCA)!
WHAT IS A WCA?
WCA is a volunteer programme implemented in 2011 by Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) – the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) – and Wellington i-SITE, to welcome cruise passengers to Wellington over the busy summer cruise seasons. The volunteers, aka “The Wellington Incredibles”, are defined by their stand-out uniforms and assist our visitors in showcasing all that Wellington has to offer. A significant increase in the number of cruise ship visitors over the last few years has meant that PWT had to find a way of looking after the experience of those visitors. It’s been fantastic to see just how many locals are happy to sacrifice their time to meet and greet our visitors, ensuring that everyone has the very best experience during their brief stay in our city.
Local knowledge is so important to our WCAs and we try to enhance this by providing experiences for each of them at each of the city’s key attractions, including; Te Papa Museum Game Masters, Wellington Zoo, Zealandia, and Carter Observatory. Volunteers are also invited to participate in familiarisation training and ‘get to know each other’ sessions at some of the city’s popular attractions or during tours:
CRUISE SEASON FACTS & FIGURES:
The 2012 – 13 season, will see Wellington welcoming around 90 ships carrying an average of 1860 passengers. On fifteen days, we’ve had two ships in port at once and on one very busy day, we had three, including the largest ship of the season, the “Voyager of the Seas”, carrying 3138 passengers, plus crew!
To find out more, or if you’d like to become a cruise volunteer, please contact Selena Murray on +64 4 915 7294.
While we use our blog to try help you plan your activity courtesy of things like dates for your diary, and share results of campaigns such as Wellington Wishing Well and Spoiling Auckland, we also like to spread word about what other people are doing. Here’s a couple of things we’ve come across recently that we think are pretty great:
Carter Observatory wants to fill your head with space
Take a bunch of people, put them in a state-of-the-art planetarium, wire their heads up to WellingtonHospital’s high-tech EEG brain scanning machine, and turn on the stars. Carter Observatory’s latest campaign – the handiwork of Clemenger BBDO – is literally a bit of a brainwave.
If you’d like to fill your head with space, Carter Observatory is open daily from 10am with late nights on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Wellington stars on prime time US tele
As you might have read on Stuff.co.nz recently, two Wellington creative types won an advertising competition that saw this incredible advertisement for the coolest little capital in the world (well, moreso Coke) shown on US television during American Idol – the country’s second highest-rated show. ‘Happiness in the Air’ is the work of Hugh Mitton and Lee Kupferman, and sees cans of Coke floated from Mount Victoria with red balloons and caught by gleeful lovers around the city. Have a watch:
Seen anything that’s a bit clever or that’s inspired you recently? Share them with us in the comments if you fancy.
As reported last week, November’s events calendar helped push a near 13% increase in weekend rooms sold in our partner hotels.
Weekday growth – up 2.3% – was more modest for the month, but finished on a high with average occupancy at 99.7% on the night of the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 95% from Monday 26 – Thursday 29 November.
These figures reinforce what we already know: a varied and strategic schedule of events is pivotal to driving weekend and off season visitation, particularly from the domestic market. November is always a strong month for hoteliers, but the weekend performance was clearly a lot more positive due to a string of sell out concerts and shows such as Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle and the diamond anniversary tour of The Mousetrap.
In 2011 there was Rugby World Cup and this year there was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey World Premiere. I have heard people say, ‘there’s nothing big’ coming up in 2013. But rest assured, the calendar is already looking very strong, and will continue to be added to.
Here’s a few things we already know about the year ahead:
January: Working on it
It’s no secret January is a problem month for Wellington, as locals and New Zealand as a whole pack up to visit the family, the beach and the bach. This is certainly something we at Positively Wellington Tourism continue to be aware of and work on, with this year’s Kids Stay Free campaign pushing travel in late December and January. As well as our usual set of attractions, the first month of 2013 offers many reasons to stop by. Among the highlights are the Game Masters and Angels & Aristocrats exhibitions at Te Papa, Cliff Richard at TSB Arena and Pinot 2013.
February & March: Always hot
April: Exciting developments
As well as continued development of the Handmade weekend, April sees the first ever premiership AFL match staged outside of Australia in on Anzac Day.
June: Big names
August: Taste & test
As well as the fifth course of the ever growing Visa Wellington On a Plate, an All Blacks vs Wallabies match on the 24th will be the perfect antidote to the winter season blues.
September & October: 25 years of WOW
You only have to look at how shifting months last year has thrown the month-on-month Commercial Accommodation Monitor results to see how truly fantastic the World of WearableArt Awards Show is for Wellington. Not that anyone in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors needs convincing! In 2013 we’ll be celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary.
This is but what we know now. What we also know is that there are new announcements around every corner and look forward to hearing and sharing more as they come through. If you aren’t already, sign up to our Positively Informed and KNOW Wellington e-newsletters to keep in the loop on all the industry and events happenings.