Posts tagged ‘Australia’
By Jo Heaton
This season, over 90 cruise ships will arrive in Wellington, delivering over 170,000 passengers. That’s 43,000 more passengers and a 33% increase on last cruise season. Ships will carry the passenger equivalent of around 1000 flights from Australia into Wellington. The spectacular growth of this sector makes it one of the most talked about good news stories in tourism.
The times they are a changing
- Cruising is no longer the preserve of Americans. More than 65% of Wellington’s cruise visitors this season will be Australians.
- Ships are being built bigger and they are carrying more passengers and crew. We’re fortunate in Wellington that CentrePort has great port facilities that can cater to increasingly larger vessels and two or even three ships at a time.
- Passengers taking shore excursions tours pre-sold by the cruise lines are declining. With so many Australians cruising, passengers are more likely than ever to do their own thing.
- Cruise lines don’t necessarily make their money from selling cruises. Shore excursions, alcohol, casinos, internet services and additional onboard services like spas are all revenue lines.
On 1 January 2013, Wellington will host up to 5400 cruise ship passengers; before the first resolutions have had a chance to be broken, the equivalent of 32 A320 full planes of air passengers will have come and gone from Wellington’s port in just one day. A lot of Wellington businesses traditionally like to take a break over the Christmas and New Year period, but we need shops and restaurants open and activities for these passengers to enjoy. Let us know what you have planned.
New Year’s Day isn’t even Wellington’s biggest day of the season. That will come on Wednesday 13 March, when over 6000 passengers will be in port. There’s two ships in Wellington on Christmas Eve (a little last minute shopping?), one on Boxing Day and three over Hertz Sevens weekend in February. Cruise ships are usually docked from 8am until around 6pm so ahoy there to a couple of unusual timings – on 15 December and 3 February, the Voyager of the Seas will arrive at lunchtime and depart at 10pm and the Pacific Pearl will arrive late evening and depart at 3pm in February and March.
The Window (Porthole?) of Opportunity
We know from Tourism New Zealand research that visitors that do the most are the most satisfied with their holiday. Let’s show cruise passengers – even the ones arriving on public holidays – what makes Wellington the coolest little cruise capital in the world.
If you’re a retailer or a tourism business, check out the cruise ship schedule on CentrePort’s website. Although schedules can change at the last minute (usually due to weather conditions) key dates are there for everyone to see.
- Open the doors.
- Look at the schedule and consider staying open a little longer on peak days.
- Hats off to businesses already putting out window signage welcoming passengers.
- Some stores offer special discounts, assistance with postage or accept foreign currencies to make transactions easier for passengers. They love this.
Cruise passengers spend far and wide in Wellington – and not necessarily on the obvious purchases like fridge magnets and postcards. They’re buying wine from supermarkets, wool from craft shops, memory sticks from electronic stores and apparently the under-packed Western Australians are even picking up an extra cardigan from Wellington’s vintage boutiques.
The Voyager of the Seas is one of the largest ships to visit New Zealand, with over 3200 passengers onboard and is making several visits to Wellington. The visit of the QE2 last year created a lot of interest and her sister-ship, the Queen Mary, will visit Wellington on 3 March 2013. These elegant ocean liners garner a lot of attention when they visit, harking back to the golden age of cruising. Cruise New Zealand’s website is a good tool to research the different ships, passenger and crew numbers.
To ensure that cruise passengers make the most of their time in Wellington, our i-SITE Manager Selena Murray has been recruiting even more Wellington City Ambassadors. These volunteers are based at the CentrePort cruise terminal and around key locations in the city on cruise days. They do a fantastic job of providing maps, information, directions, local knowledge and a warm welcome. The i-SITE circulates information to the Ambassadors before each cruise day so if your business is open on public holidays, do let the team know.
Covec’s Understanding the Value Created by Cruise Tourism research was released at the TIANZ Summit. Each adult cruise passenger during the 2011/12 cruise season was worth an average of NZ$887 to New-Zealand based businesses. Did your business do everything it could to benefit from these visitors?
To make the most of the opportunities presented by cruise passengers, Wellington is going to have to be open all hours. Or at least, open more hours.
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.
By David Perks
So now it’s all over and a couple of weeks have passed. Have you remembered that the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup?
A World of Opportunity
If there’s one industry sector that won’t forget New Zealand’s hosting of this event it is the Tourism and Hospitality sector. So much of the last few years has been spent considering what will or won’t be the value of the opportunity. Part of that discussion has been about the short term business opportunity; another part has been about the legacy effect of the event as the country gets airtime across a number of our key visitor source markets.
Throughout the tournament, we observed a variety of kicking styles. When taking a shot at goal, each team’s kicker had a different approach to their preparation, connection and follow through. Some were more flamboyant than others. Some were clearly more successful than others. New Zealand was, in the most part, extremely well prepared. The connection was struck beautifully. How do we all plan to follow through?
Now is the time the tourism sector – Tourism New Zealand, RTOs and the industry across New Zealand – needs to act. We all know that the most important task to complete having presented at a trade show, is the follow-up. This is no different. In Wellington we have seen some remarkable destination media coverage as a result of RWC 2011, but we still risk ending up with a narrow victory that nobody is quite sure about.
Numbers & New Markets
The International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand in the six weeks to the 16th October (the day of the NZ v Aus RWC Semi Final) tell an interesting story, when compared to the same period last year.
Predictably, the largest numerical increase came from the Australian market, with an 18% increase of 22,485. Through the matches, the media and the Qantas Great Crusade, we have at last also shown off and celebrated the New Zealand city experience. Do we have consumer campaigns ready to go that promote the type of experience that was so enjoyed by our trans-Tasman neighbours during the tournament? For this one, the answer for Wellington is yes. Australia being our near neighbour means that regions can make a plan to do just this and make a positive difference to their visitor arrivals.
The next largest numerical increase in arrivals over the period came from the UK market, up 13,135 – or 92.7%. Whilst we all know that the UK is suffering financially and the pre-RWC 2011 numbers have reflected as such, it remains our number two market, delivering a very significant proportion of our visitors to New Zealand. The growth experienced during the tournament shows that, presented with the right motivation and opportunities, Brits will still travel. So do we have a plan to follow up the Rugby World Cup ‘tradeshow’ and work with the distribution networks in that country to convert the excitement we generated around the cup into visitors over the next decade?
More Than a Oui Bit of the French
For the first time we saw a really meaningful number of French visitors in New Zealand all at once. If you look at the numbers the French market has been quietly strengthening for some time – although not quite as it has for Australia. What’s the plan to maximise the opportunity provided to New Zealand in France? South African visitors also fell in love with New Zealand (regardless of their team’s result) - what’s our plan for developing that market in the future?
This week’s arrival of 450 North American travel writers, communicators and their associates for the Society of American Travel Writers convention in Wellington is fantastically timed. RWC 2011 will have had little impact in the US market – although arrivals were up 5.6% (or 800 people). Canadian visitation, on the other hand, was up 53%; from a smallish base of course – the total increase in arrivals was 1,792.
How our sector will and can assess the result in years to come, lies in our hands. We need to follow up with the right strategy and messaging to ensure the tournament is a driver of visitation not just for the past few months, but for the next decade – creating a legacy and driving long term results much as The Lord of the Rings has. The alternative? To sit back and wonder what all the hoopla was about as our traditional markets (where many of the teams and visitors came from) continue to slow as the global financial crisis drags on. Plus losing new and exciting opportunities.
I know which option I prefer. How about you?