17 November 2014
By Sheena Crawford, Consumer Marketing Executive, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism
Take a bunch of sceptical Aucklanders, show them a good time in Christchurch, and leave them eager to come back. It’s that simple, right?
That was the mission we gave to our newest celeb Cantabrians ambassadors, rugby’s Andy Ellis and boy band Moorhouse. Recently they whisked two groups of Aucklanders to Christchurch to discover some of the city’s unexpected ‘pockets of awesome’.
Reactions were captured on film in a bid to change perceptions of the city as a visitor destination.
What’s the problem we’re trying to fix?
It’s not exactly rocket science to see we have our work cut out for us when it comes to changing the NZ perception of Christchurch as a holiday destination. We know that road cones and vacant lots mean that we don’t always have the picture-perfect visitor experience --- however, and this is a big however, we know that when kiwis visit, explore and get amongst the unique and amazing experiences that are tucked against the construction of our new city that they like it, a lot.
How do we know this? Research told us so.
Our quarterly monitor called the “Visitor Insights Programme” (VIP) looks at domestic visitor experience and for Christchurch it’s currently sitting at 8.9/10 which is not only higher than the other markets we monitor, but it's also higher than the aggregate for the same measure in the other regions included in the VIP (which is a combination of Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wanaka and Wellington).
Why video is the solution?
Research indicated that those most likely to visit the city in the next 18 months were generally males between 25-54 years old with above average incomes. Drilling down even more the younger portion of this group say the city is on their travel radar because they are curious about what was happening around the buzz of the rebuild.
Add this insight to the importance of YouTube’s and you get the “Pockets of Awesome” concept.
Why is YouTube important? Well 1 billion unique users visit the site each month and they watch 6 billion hours of video every month! Video has become an integral part of the online decision making process. Reading screeds of text about a destination/subject/product has definitely been replaced by video, images, icons and symbols.