DWC encourages Kiwis to get ‘Hands On’
“Australians have traditionally been our biggest international market during the winter period,” says Development West Coast (DWC) chief executive Heath Milne.
“Prior to the pandemic, they would typically inject around $8-10m into the West Coast economy during the months of July, August and September.
“With the current uncertainty around the trans-Tasman bubble, the importance of the domestic market over the winter period takes on even greater significance.”
Post-Covid, the West Coast has been relatively successful at attracting domestic visitors.
Domestic spending was up 71 per cent for the year to May 2021.
“While it’s great to see so many Kiwis visiting the Coast, the reality is we need more to help fill the spending hole left by international tourists,” says DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne.
The West Coast has been one of the hardest-hit regions of New Zealand by the COVID-19 border closures.
To encourage more domestic visitors to the region, DWC has just launched a campaign to promote West Coast ‘must do activities’ giving Kiwis the chance to win a ‘Hands On’ West Coast adventure for their family.
The competition showcases tourism operators and activities from Karamea to Haast. Entrants select their top five West Coast experiences to be in to win their dream holiday.
“We want to show that you don’t need to travel overseas for world-class experiences. The West Coast is brimming with award-winning activities and stunning landscapes,” says Mr Milne.
Last week TripAdvisor released its 2021 Travellers Awards, with Heli Hiking on Fox Glacier recognised as the ‘Top out of the ordinary experience in the world’ - beating out activities such as a husky safari in Finland and swimming with sharks in Hawaii.
Mr Milne says many people are not aware of the amazing activities we have in our backyard.
“There is something for everyone on the West Coast, and winter is a great time to visit.
“If relaxation is your thing, you can soak in a hot spring at Maruia surrounded by the snow-capped Southern Alps and lush native bush.”
Maruia Hot Springs was recognised as the top Luxury Thermal Resort Spa at the most recent World Luxury Spa Awards.
“The West Coast is full of world-class activities for you and your family to experience,” says Mr Milne.
DWC Destination Development Manager Patrick Dault says the campaign will encourage visitors to book accommodation and activities on the Coast.
“We’ve used this concept before – the last time the campaign received over 5 million views, got nearly 100,000 new website visitors, and generated more than 12,000 competition entries,” says Mr Dault.
The campaign will target families and active independents over two periods - the July and October school holidays. The goal is to prompt bookings.