A spotlight on Waikato’s tourism gems

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Our region is continually being showcased in different and exciting ways around the world and this past month has been no exception to that with the launch of the most recent New Air New Zealand safety video.

Glimpses of the Waikato region can be caught on the video that comes with the airline’s usual combination of Hollywood glitter and creative measure – with the Waitomo Caves featuring in the clip that will operate on every Air New Zealand flight for the coming months.

These videos have a reputation of being fun, but behind it all, it will inspire visitors to come to our region, especially when featuring one of our ‘must-do’ attractions for our destination.

With an upward trend on international visitor nights continuing for the region, the awareness from this safety video will no doubt help to grow these numbers further. It will encourage visitors to explore more of Waikato – whether it be underground, or above-the-ground at our many other stunning attractions and natural wonders that we have within our region.

Every visitor brings with them economic benefits for our region, and that is never to be underestimated.
Tourism New Zealand’s new global 100% Pure New Zealand Campaign – ‘where one journey leads to another’ – also shines a spotlight on some of the key attractions in Waikato.

There is a real sense of journey throughout our region which aligns perfectly with Tourism New Zealand’s campaign messaging – from visiting well-known icons such as Waitomo Caves, Hamilton Gardens and Hobbiton Movie Set to discovering stunning hidden gems such as The Blue Spring and emerging visitor attractions such as Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.

As part of the Australian focus for the new global campaign, road trips along key touring routes in the central and upper North Island are being showcased to tempt our trans-Tasman neighbours across the ditch.

The $1.4m partnership between Tourism New Zealand, eight regional tourism organisations and travel trade partners highlights self-drive itineraries centred on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway between Auckland and Northland; the Pacific Coast Highway taking in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty; the Thermal Explorer Highway through Rotorua, Hamilton and Waikato and Great Lake Taupo; and the Volcanic Loop around Ruapehu.

The eight-week campaign, which started recently, will feature across digital platforms, PR channels and outdoor mediums including bus stops and train stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The campaign is about encouraging Australians to explore more of the North Island, to see different places and to travel in the shoulder months.

The itineraries have been created to help the Australian market understand the different regions in the central and upper North Island, creating a simpler way for them to plan their journeys and ensure they understand how much there is to do in this diverse part of New Zealand.

We continue to see the positive impacts of this type of effective regional marketing, with the current trend for visitors to stay in Waikato for the first or last night of their travels growing not only in the summer months but now also in to the spring and autumn.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is the regional tourism organisation charged with increasing international and domestic visitor numbers, expenditure and stay. The organisation is funded through a public/private partnership and covers the heartland Waikato areas of Hamilton City, Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, South Waikato, Waipa and Waitomo districts. Find out more: www.hamiltonwaikato.com

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About Author

Jason Dawson

Chief Executive, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism