New Zealand is hoping that the DMO’s (Destination Management Organization’s) tourism strategy aims to drive focus away from ‘instagrammable’ locations, building upon the earlier strategy of “Do something new” and upgrading it to “Share something new”, creating its own marketing strategy and encouraging travel to lesser known locations.
As New Zealand’s borders are closed to mostly all international arrivals, domestic tourism will be key to restarting the industry in this country, where tourism is a significant contributor to GDP. After months of stringent lockdown measures, which have evidently been successful in eradicating the virus in the country, many residents will be desperate to travel again, even if it is to domestic destinations.
Addressing social media as a tourism driver
The campaign encourages travelers to stop ‘traveling under the social influence’ and aims to drive visitation to new, and mostly unknown areas of natural beauty and away from popular sites. Global society is becoming increasingly influenced by social media, the purpose of a trip has been shifted from enjoyment to being able to post it on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
According to a GlobalData survey in 2019, 65% of global respondents were ‘interested’ in social media and 24% of which actively bought products that were advertised on these platforms. As is expected, the millennial population is more influenced by social media than any other demographic, where 80% global of respondents in this age range were ‘influenced’ by these online platforms. These survey results show the importance of social media and its influence on general consumer and travel behaviors.
New Zealand aims to tackle overtourism
However, a new tourism strategy creates opportunity for lesser known tourism businesses and locations, whilst relieving the pressure of overtourism on popular sites.
New Zealand’s tourism board are offering a $500 NZD ($359 USD) domestic travel voucher prize draw to anyone who shares a photo of themselves ‘doing something different’ on social media platforms. As it is posted on social media, more people will see it, and more will desire to visit, taking attention away from the more popular sites and creating demand for others, which will spread the economic benefits of tourism across the country. The prompt of a prize for exploring beyond the beaten path is a clever way of creating exposure on social media, acting as a relatively inexpensive marketing strategy that has a wide reach and influences consumer behavior.
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Whilst creating a mission for domestic tourists to find new places to visit, it will also set a trend for international arrivals – when allowed. International tourists from key source markets such as Australia and the UK, who are planning a trip to New Zealand, will be focused on social media updates whilst they plan their trips from home. Seeing photos uploaded of lesser known locations in New Zealand could alter their holiday itineraries and motivate them to visit areas which are ‘off the beaten path’.