16 March 2017
In recent weeks, our Trade team have been on the road talking to Australian consumers and trade, to provide an update on the city’s progress, inspire trade to include Christchurch in itineraries and to influence decision makers to keep Christchurch top of mind. Read on to find out more about current market trends, consumer feedback and trade insights.
Market trends & insights
- Australian arrivals into Christchurch are 12.9% up December YE compare to last year.
- Momentum is growing in the outbound market despite a softer economic outlook.
- More Australians are emigrating to New Zealand than vice-versa for the first time in 25 years.
- Australia’s reputation has been damaged amongst the backpacker community by considering a significant increase in the backpacker tax.
- Australian conference organisers are preferring “close to home” locations due to global safety concerns.
- However, our major competitors (e.g. USA, Canada, Japan 5) are also strengthening due to low airfares.
At an RTO workshop in Sydney, CCT met with key trade partners and updated them on the latest developments in Christchurch and new products in Canterbury.
Feedback from all trade partners in Australia has been reasonably positive.
- Progress around the Avon River and retail precincts were very well received. Christchurch is now included in all AU trade itineraries which is a very positive achievement.
- Coach touring companies are reporting positive response to sales for 18/19 season and some are starting to consider bringing more business to Christchurch.
- Currently Christchurch features mainly as an ‘in and out’ transit destination, however there is scope for increasing the length of stay as the inner-city environment improves. Another important factor for this is the increase in accommodation inventory expected in 12 months’ time when additional 600 rooms will be added to the city’s inventory.
- Online travel agents and wholesalers are playing ever increasing part in travel product distribution and it is worth noting the key players – GTA, Luxury Escapes, My Bookings by Entertainment, RedBalloon, Viator, Website Travel, WorldStrides Australia, Excite Holidays, Expedia, Experience OZ +NZ.
CCT attended AFTA Sunday Mail Holiday Expo in Adelaide and the Perth Holiday and Cruise Expo. We exhibited alongside one of Australia’s biggest wholesalers and saw hundreds of consumers who were considering their next holiday to New Zealand. It was a great opportunity to influence their decision making and promote Christchurch & Canterbury as the must visit destination in their NZ itinerary. We also hoped to increase their length of stay in the city and educate consumers about depth of product in Canterbury.
The general demographic for consumer shows was over 35 years, with a lot of interest expressed across cruise, self-drive and coach itineraries. There is currently a Christchurch to Perth direct seasonal service operating 2 x a week on the Air New Zealand Dreamliner; there are no direct flights from Adelaide.
At both events, we received queries about the Christchurch rebuild progress, and accessibility into Kaikoura following the November 2016 events. Attending these events gave CCT the opportunity to reassure consumers and provide accurate update on the visitor experience in North Canterbury.
Upcoming Australia activity
CCT in partnership with ANZCRO and Air New Zealand are bringing a trade famil of 10 agents from Western Australia. The agents will be here in April and will visit Christchurch, Mid Canterbury, Mackenzie, Hurunui.
TNZ are staging All Stars Frontline Training Roadshow in June 2017. CCT will participate in the roadshow with the goal to update over 400 quality front line agents in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Australian market and want to talk about the marketing opportunities for your tourism product, please speak to our trade team.