10 February 2009

NZ already calling on snow pros from abroad

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Tourism New Zealand is already releasing a campaign to encourage Australians and international markets to book their skiing holiday for the upcoming winter.

According to Voxy, this is the earliest Tourism New Zealand has released its campaign, which will involve television, print and online commercials.

Officials have said they are targeting Australians because the better exchange rate, cheap airfares, great snow conditions, diversity of winter activities and adventure sports, and proximity to Australia would make skiing in New Zealand an easy sell.

"We consider this ski commercial, starting so early in the season, helps create a sound platform for ongoing industry promotions in the build-up to the winter ski season," said Ski Tourism Marketing Network (Ski TMN) chair, Mike Smith.

Approximately 70,000 skiers from Australia went to New Zealand's resorts last year, making Australia the biggest overseas market for their winter months.  Figures also show that more Australians were visiting New Zealand over Christmas (growth of 5.6 per cent) despite the current economic situation, and that web traffic to the Tourism New Zealand site had increased by 45 per cent over January when compared with the same period last year.

"Overall summer has held up well but there are widespread concerns in the industry that from March things will slow down considerably after March so we are maximising every opportunity where it exists," Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said.

Hundreds of international seasonaires will also be hoping to call New Zealand "home" this winter; snow bunnies from the northern hemisphere follow the winter season Down Under to work on the slopes following the European and American winters.  Most of these travellers can work on a New Zealand working holiday visa, which allows nationals from participating countries to work and holiday in New Zealand for up to 12 months.  British nationals also have the opportunity of extending this New Zealand visa for another eleven months.

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