We’re working with Hamilton Waikato Tourism (the regional tourism organisation), who are working with Tourism New Zealand to understand the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and how we can best respond to this
Work is currently underway for a regional domestic tourism campaign (targeting New Zealanders within a two hour drive) over the next few months, to be followed by a wider domestic campaign, then international advertising again in the longer term.
We are also putting plans in place to get our event centres back up and running to host meetings and conferences, as these draw visitors to town and put money back into our local economy. This is also part of a wider regional campaign to restart tourism in the Waikato
Budget 2020 - Tourism Recovery Fund
As part of central government's 2020 Wellbeing Budget, sector-specific support has been announced in the form of a $400m Tourism Recovery Fund which includes:
- a domestic tourism campaign;
- providing advice and support for pivoting a business towards the domestic and Australian markets;
- protection and assistance for key tourism assets impacted by COVID-19; and
- a New Zealand Futures Tourism Taskforce to lead the thinking of the reimagining of the sector.
“Domestic tourism has been key anchor for the Waikato, making up 75% of our visitor market and injecting $1.2b annually into the regional economy for the year ending March 2020” says Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Chief Executive, Jason Dawson,
“However, one of the key industry needs is to provide support around adapting our tourism experiences to the domestic visitor market which has very different needs to our international traveller” he says.
“Kiwis are self-explorers and love to drive, so not only their travel behaviours are different within New Zealand compared to international visitors; their needs, wants and expectations are also different” he added.