nzmarket visit

15th May 2019: The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Trade, Hon. Bob Loughman is leading the New Zealand Tourism Market Visit this week, organised by VTO as part of the 2030 Shared Vision for Aviation and Tourism.

The Deputy PM is joined on the delegation by the CEOs of VTO, Air Vanuatu, and Airports Vanuatu. Together they have been lobbying the NZ Government to help Vanuatu to grow visitation from NZ by enhancing spend in aviation and tourism.

VTO’s NZ digital media agency, Electric Art together with NZ marketing representative Jacquie Carson gave presentations on how the travel trade efforts over the last two years have grown the NZ market’s interest in Vanuatu as a destination, and this has been reflected in an increase in room night occupancies and visitor numbers from NZ.

VTO’s current NZ marketing strategy is achieving positive results, with over 3,000 NZ Facebook followers added since the start of May thanks to a travel competition run in conjunction with TV3’s popular morning show, The Café. The additional budget available in 2019 presents a further strategic opportunity for Vanuatu to win a greater presence in the NZ market via new digital marketing tactics. This activity also supports the additional capacity being launched by Air Vanuatu into the NZ market in mid 2019.

Air Vanuatu’s NZ Manager Jonas George presented the carrier’s NZ marketing plans to the delegation showing how VTO’s work contributes to Air Vanuatu NZ’s marketing, and how the airline supports this by providing tacticals and fares to help boost sales. Air Vanuatu and VTO have several joint campaigns in the NZ Market which are already showing strong forward bookings.

All parties involved in the shared vision—Air Vanuatu, VTO and Airports Vanuatu—were able to gain a clear understanding of the strategy for NZ to grow visitor numbers, and how this could be achieved through additional budget support, seat capacity and relevant airport infrastructure development.

Market challenges were also discussed, including air services agreements, tourist first impressions on arrival, quality of tourism product offerings and long-haul market connectivity with other international carriers.

The New Zealand Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission (PITIC) office also spoke about the NZ foreign direct tourism investments in Vanuatu it has facilitated through VIPA recently, including two hotel development investments in the last two years. The 2030 Shared Vision should boost additional seat capacity from NZ to catalyse further investor interest, according to PITIC.