Posts filed under ‘Australia’
The red carpet may have been rolled up and the live feeds complete, but the media coverage – like the The Hobbit Trilogy – will come in many parts for Wellington.
Such is the scale, it would almost take as long, or cost as much, as it took to make the films to measure the global reach the celebrations have attracted. But it’s safe to say media coverage of the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will broadcast Wellington to a cumulative audience well into the hundreds of millions around the globe.
Entertainment Tonight’s Debbie Matenopoulos told 3News that Sir Peter Jackson and his films are just as big in the US, as they are at home, saying: “The last time anybody was as big as him would be George Lucas with Star Wars. I can’t think of the last time that something was as massive as that, I really can’t.”
More than 100 international media were hosted in the capital this week, including some of the biggest broadcasters on the planet. Matenopoulos and her producer Andy Reyes raved about Wellington and New Zealand, Channel 9 Australia’s Richard Wilkins was in town, and Chinese actress and social media superstar Yao Chen walked the red carpet. You might not know much about her, but her over 21 million followers on Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo sure do.
As well as the lead-up coverage of the anticipation, the announcements and the reveals, the worldwide coverage of the world premiere will be followed up by features, cast interviews and, of course, the much anticipated public release of not just one, but three films.
Speaking of cast – you couldn’t get better international ambassadors than those who uplifted their lives to move to Wellington to be part of what is one of the largest movie undertakings in the world today. The likes of Elijah Wood, James Nesbitt, Andy Serkis and Richard Armitage are generous (but of course completely founded) in their praise of the coolest little capital in the world.
Here’s a few of the grabs:
:: As reported in the Huffington Post, Sir Ian McKellen – sorely missed at this week’s events - sent a message to his “spiritual home”.
:: Elijah Wood described filming in Wellington to BBC as a “family reunion”.
:: Andy Serkis summoned Gollum to thank his “precious” for a wonderful party - catch him on this Sydney Morning Herald story.
:: James Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter his new home in Wairarapa was so great it was distracting him from writing Avatar 2 and 3.
:: Australia’s Channel 7 reported how Wellington was gripped with ‘Hobbit fever’ and almost a quarter of the region’s population had turned out to watch the world premiere.
:: James Nesbitt described his experience as “life-changing”, while Richard Armitage told red carpet reporters Wellington was “the most amazing place to be”.
Be sure to show your appreciation by booking your tickets to see the film at one of our city’s many great cinemas now!
By David Perks
Growing the economy and jobs through raising the city’s presence and attracting businesses to Wellington is one of the Council’s top 5 priorities in the recently released Draft Long-Term Plan. There are three key areas of the plan that affect Positively Wellington Tourism’s direct activities:
1. Australia Marketing Fund
2. Destination Wellington
3. Long Haul
Firstly, a bit of context
Before I share the details of and our position on the proposals relating to the above areas, it’s worth clarifying with readers how we’re funded. Positively Wellington Tourism’s funding from WCC is directly sourced from the Downtown Levy (DTL), a targeted rate on commercial property owners in the central business district. It is therefore of high importance that our activities deliver a return on investment to these ratepayers through increasing commercial activity in the city by attracting more visitors.
1. Australia Marketing Fund: Proposal to reduce funding for the Australia marketing campaign from $1 million per annum, to $800,000 per annum
WHAT THE PLAN SUMMARY SAYS:
“We propose to continue contributing to this marketing campaign, but at a reduced level than the $1 million we have provided annually in the last three years. Visitor numbers from Australia have grown in recent years on the back of this successful marketing campaign.”
HOW MUCH AND WHEN: $2.4 million in total over the next three years.
WHO WILL PAY: Downtown Levy Ratepayers– 100%
The work PWT has carried out in Australia as a result of the investment by Council and the DTL ratepayer over the last two years has been the most significant driver behind Wellington’s continued tourism success in a tough climate. Since funding of $1m per year commenced it has made a significant return to the city through visitor arrivals, spend and increased trans-Tasman flight connectivity. The below graph charts direct Australia arrivals into Wellington growth since the launch of the There’s No Place Like Wellington campaign in March 2010. As you’ll see, despite ash clouds, earthquakes and a challenged economic climate, we have seen consistent and often significant growth.
In each full year the investment has been in place PWT has carried out almost $3 million of activity through leveraging the Council’s funding to create partnerships with city, regional and national agencies and businesses. For example, our partnership with our national carrier enables exciting opportunities such as the Air New Zealand restaurant Safety giveaway at our WLG pop up restaurant in Melbourne (a PR initiative that reached a cumulative audience in excess of 9 million in Australia). This in turn launched a 24-hour sale offering $100 off return flights to Wellington for travel from February to June 2012.
While we’re delighted the Council sees value in continuing the Australia marketing initiative over the coming years, our submission is that reducing this investment by $200,000 per annum will handicap its success. The multi-partnership approach sees the Council’s investment amplified and the exceptionally positive results are well documented. Reducing funding will reduce our ability to raise matched partner funds, in turn of course reducing the result.
For more on our Australia campaign results, watch the below video report on the development and results achieved in year 1. Things have significantly developed further since this first year of campaign, but this shows the journey Wellington is on when it comes to its profile and driving visitors across the Tasman.
2. Destination Wellington: Funding a programme to attract investment and new business to Wellington
WHAT THE PLAN SUMMARY SAYS:
“We want to create jobs and support economic growth in the city. Destination Wellington is a programme of business investment and attraction activities that will be undertaken in partnership with Grow Wellington, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Kea (international business network) and other key stakeholders. Its purpose will be to attract increased levels of investment, talent and new business to the Central Business District and wider Wellington City area. We are planning to deliver this programme through a specialist delivery agency rather than in-house. This addresses a gap in service provision identified in the Council’s Economic Development Strategy and in the review of the Wellington Regional Strategy. It will ensure the ongoing competitiveness of the city in an increasingly competitive global market for investment and talent.
HOW MUCH AND WHEN: $1 million in 2012/13 and $1.9 million a year from 2013/14 onwards
WHO WILL PAY: Commercial Ratepayers – 50%; Downtown Levy Ratepayers – 50%
We applaud the move to use the destination platform that Council has built through its investment in PWT since the mid 1990s in a broadening of the concept of ‘Destination Wellington’. Tourism marketing provides a shop window of Wellington, but there has to date been a gap in leveraging of that platform further through funding activity to increase external investment that will bring business investment, business travellers, education visitors, and of course a subsidiary effect of this will be more leisure visitors.
The vision is for this work to be carried out in a sector-targeted manner such that the impact on the city is significant and relevant to the city’s strengths and story. This activity is greatly needed and will benefit not only the business and educations sectors, but also tourism. We are also excited by what this project will mean for a shared and consistent brand for Wellington across business, investment, education and visitor sectors.
3. Long Haul Attraction: Withdrawal of the $200,000 annual investment
WHAT THE PLAN SUMMARY SAYS:
“We plan to continue supporting the attraction of a long-haul air carrier to Wellington. The creation of a long haul attraction fund is in the early stages of development and this work will inform the 2013/14 Annual Plan. In the event that an opportunity arose before then the Council would give it consideration. In the meantime, we plan to stop our current contribution of $200,000 to Positively Wellington Tourism that had been directed towards this.”
The Plan withdraws the current $200,000 annual investment in Long Haul Attraction activity. We believe this flies in the face of the introduction of the above Destination Wellington concept. The $200,000 funds our work with Wellington International Airport in engaging with potential long haul flight providers, including the preparation and presentation of detailed business case analysis. Stopping this fund will remove the ability to do this work. Progress made to date will be reverted, and the incentive fund proposed by Council in the future to get an airline across the line (a necessary requirement in today’s market) will – in our opinion – have very little likelihood of having the opportunity to be utilised.
This activity has to date been paid for by the General rate. Our proposal to Councillors is that this activity would more appropriately be paid for by the Downtown Levy, as per our other activity.
:: How to Make Your Submission to the Wellington City Council’s Draft Long-Term Plan:
The draft long-term plan, a summary of the plan and submission forms are available from Wellington City Council’s website. To make an online submission, see: Public Input – Draft Long Term Plan 2012/22, the Wellington City Council Facebook page, or you can also email submissions to email@example.com.
Submissions close 5.00pm, Friday 18 May.
By David Perks
If there is one job I don’t envy, it’s that of drafting the Council Long-Term Plan. There’s always so much to do and comparatively little to do it with. Everything’s up for grabs and everything’s really important to someone.
Wellington City Council’s Draft Long-Term Plan has been finalised and is now out for consultation. The full Plan’s a bit of a read, so I thought I would share with you Positively Wellington Tourism’s analysis of areas we feel most require our industry’s attention.
In the interests of brevity and relevance, I’ll separate it into the following three areas/posts:
- Positively Wellington Tourism Funding (Australia Marketing Fund, Destination Wellington and Long Haul Attraction)
- Tourism Activities & Infrastructure (Convention infrastructure, Eco-city Council-Controlled Organisation and Cycle Networks)
- Events (Te Papa, The Hobbit and FIFA Under 20 Mens World Championships 2015)
More than ever it’s important our industry engages with the consultation process and shares its opinions on the direction of our city’s investment. Wellington’s tourism industry has been comparatively buffered from the challenges our counterparts have faced over the past couple of years. Certainly, it hasn’t been without nimble thinking, hard work and investment. But – as I trust you are very much aware –Wellington’s economic future has its challenges, with areas of investment up for debate and the public sector cuts putting pressure on the job market and spending.
I urge you to have a read of all or those of the above that are relevant to you, and then get submitting with your own thoughts, support and opinions.
How to make a submission
The draft long-term plan, a summary of the plan and submission forms are available from the following locations:
- Wellington City Council’s website
- From the City Service Centre,101 Wakefield Streetand Council libraries
- By phoning (04) 499 4444 to request a copy
To make an online submission, see:
Submissions close 5.00pm, Friday 18 May.
By David Perks
As I mentioned in my last blog, the tourism sector in New Zealand is often challenged about being a low productivity industry. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the capital that is invested in tourism isn’t fully utilised because of the seasonal nature of travel.
There’s a number of ways we can tackle this, but we need to be very clear that to do so is an amazing challenge – one we will, quite honestly, never wholly fulfil. We also need to be aware that it’s not just a New Zealand phenomena – Spain, for example, gets 40% of its tourist visitor arrivals in three months of summer.
For Wellington there is more hope than for more traditional summer destinations. Just like Barcelona we do being a city. Wellington does not rely solely on the great outdoors to attract visitors and has the capability and capacity to attract visitors for all kinds of reasons and seasons – events, conventions, business, city breaks, etc. At the heart of Wellington’s success has been its coming of age as the urban destination for New Zealanders taking a domestic break.
Wellington has concentrated its promotional investment for 20 years into attracting the domestic visitor. As we have learned from the Fly Buys/Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller survey, time and again Wellington is winning this battle; the capital repeatedly features as the destination most likely to be visited by New Zealanders.
Those domestic visitors are these days being complemented by an ever growing number of Australians. For Australians, travelling to New Zealand is little different in regards to investment of time or money to travelling interstate. Whilst many Australians may indeed like the idea of exploring New Zealand over a long holiday, the reality is that most are time poor and much more likely to visit for just a few days – perhaps combining a leisure trip with business or attending a convention.
The interesting thing is that whilst we think of New Zealand on the international stage as being all about rural landscapes, wilderness and the great outdoors, for most Kiwis and our Aussie cousins the reality is we prefer an urban break – we like to shop, to eat in good restaurants, drink in cool little bars, and attend a show or exhibition.
It’s demonstrating this urbanity through activities such as our WLG restaurants in Sydney and more recently Melbourne, through our events such as Brancott Estate World of WearableArt Awards Show and of course having the Phoenix out there every week that has got Australia talking about Wellington. We also all know that The Lord of the Rings, Weta and of course the upcoming The Hobbit have and will continue to do much for Wellington and its growing reputation as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’.
Airline connectivity is important for all our main centres and first and foremost that means connections to other Australasian cities. It is through working with airlines that cities and regions can increase the load factors that those planes enjoy – bringing business people, students, convention delegates and yes, holidaymakers, to our city.
Tourism New Zealand tell us that our country competes with the US,UK and Europe in the Australian market, and perhaps we do when it comes to a full-country long visit. But where we believe Wellington’s success lies is in thinking of Aussies as being not all that different to Kiwis. We back up our brand campaign in Australia with an array of targeted activity, offering lots of reasons to travel more often for short breaks. We hit them from a range of directions through partnerships with media and trade, airline activity, through our own databases, and off the back of media famils. And if the record winter we recently had in Wellington is anything to go by, the swings of seasonality can be turned.
By Brad Monaghan
A mash up of a tonne of wine, over half a tonne of water, 100 kg of salmon, the same quantity of chocolate and 20kg of coffee is enough to make anyone feel a little sick. But it’s just part of what pulls together WLG, the second serving of Wellington’s pop up restaurant, which this November took shape in Melbourne.
This project is one big partnership. PWT are the glue, the event organisers and the cheque book behind WLG, and we run this project for two primary reasons:
The first reason is that it brings together the best of the best chefs and front of house staff throughout the region’s award-winning restaurant sector. It also provides a platform for those exporting into our nearest international market to showcase their product to foodies, as well as current and potential suppliers. It not only brings these talented people and companies together, but it gives PWT a bit more credibility with a different facet of partners in a space that tourism organisations seldom play in.
The second reason we do it is because it showcases exactly what we pride ourselves on being - the country’s leading food destination. Images, brochures and stories can only do so much; we have to put our money where our mouth is, and feed and water our target market on the other side of the ditch so they can actually taste, engage and feel like they know the city. And with access to world class wine and produce both north and south of our fair city, it’s a perfect match.
And best still, the concept works. This year with some shrewd partnership activities and plans in place, over 9 million Australians read, watched or heard something about WLG and Wellington in the last month, check out footage on NZ’s Breakfast TV, Air NZ’s activation stunt on Youtube or some great coverage in Lonely Planet. That nine million audience excludes the great broadcast, print and online coverage the project attained in New Zealand, or the coverage this project got in Germany, the UK and India.
One interesting thing about this project, is although it costs PWT approximately $200 000 to run, about $70 000 is offset by revenue attained through hungry and thirsty diners; it is sort of unique to run a marketing project where the project in part pays for itself.
So where next for WLG? It’s hard to really look at another market in Australia for a pop up restaurant, as we have hit Sydney and Melbourne, and both are our key markets for cashed up Aussies that like food and wine experiences and have the ability to take a short break to Wellington and the surrounding wine regions.
But another smaller incarnation of WLG could be on the cards, as long as we keep it fresh, relevant to our audience and to our partners it seems like cooking up a culinary storm of regional goodness for those we want to attract is a recipe for success.