Palmerston North and Manawatū highlighted as a popular destination to visit in Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s recent Domestic Visitor Satisfaction survey results

CEDA’s ongoing stream of marketing and PR activity over Spring and Summer and strategic approach to support visitor sector businesses and events through the impacts of COVID-19 is proven successful according to results from Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s (TIA) latest Domestic Visitor Satisfaction survey.

The survey, carried out by Angus & Associate provides an overview of New Zealanders most recent domestic leisure trips within the year leading up to March 2021, shows Palmerston North and Manawatū in the spotlight as one of the top visited destinations, alongside Canterbury and Queenstown.

CEDA Marketing and Communications Manager, Janet Reynolds, says “As the Regional Tourism Organisation for Palmerston North city and Manawatū, we’ve put a strong focus on targeted marketing through digital campaigns and media partnerships to regain and grow our pre-COVID-19 visitor market, which was worth $500 million in the year to February 2020.”

“Coupled with this, the city and region has put on a thriving calendar of events including Papaioea Festival of the Arts, Teams Champs, NZ Rural Games and Kimbolton Sculpture Festival, driving visitation and spend into the city and region so it’s fantastic to see this recognised through visitor satisfaction, and the increased spend in our economy.”

According to a new series of data established by MBIE as a result of COVID-19 restrictions last year, total spending in the region increased by $7 million between February and March 2021. Following this, weekly data for international cards (visitors or returning residents) shows spending in Palmerston North also increased during the same period two years ago since the week ended 28 March.

Palmerston North City Council’s Economic Policy Advisor Peter Crawford optimistic about the future of economic spending in the region, saying, “The future of international spend looks bright with more and more kiwis returning home and Australians visiting their neighbouring country.”

CEDA’s recent ‘How Manawatū Are You’ campaign is just one example of the how we have reengaged domestic visitors post COVID-19 in an effort to boost our regional economy showcasing the exceptional experiences and activities on offer.

The campaign was focused on our biggest target markets and was developed using the rich data and insights we have on visitor intentions and motivators. “Taking a quirky yet humorous approach, with a distinct Manawatū flavour, the campaign gave potential visitors a taster of Manawatū Must Do’s, from sunset strolls on the beach, day walks through lush native bush, wildlife experiences, river rafting and horse trekking, and a vibrant urban city with exceptional arts, theatre and mouth-watering cuisine to finish off a day of adventure” Reynolds says.

To support the campaign and ongoing marketing efforts to the domestic kiwi market, CEDA has gained profile for the city and region in prominent media channels including Kia Ora Magazine, Stuff, New Zealand Herald and a feature on TV1 Breakfast featuring comedian Haley Sproull showcasing our regions fantastic offerings.

Recent trends within TIA’s survey, off the back of CEDA’s recent campaign, reinforces the level of influence that targeted marketing, a vibrant events scene, and kiwis desire to reconnect with friends and whānau can have on visitor numbers and economic recovery.

From a national viewpoint, TIA’s latest Domestic Visitor Satisfaction survey found that three in four Kiwis took an overnight domestic leisure trip in the year to March 2021.

Other themes include travel for events falling to 13%, down from 18%, whereas visiting family and friends remained stable at 36%. One in two New Zealanders had their expectations exceeded on their most recent domestic overnight leisure trip with only 2% saying their experience was worse than expected. The overall satisfaction rated at 8.7 out of 10, consistent with the year to March 2020.

CEDA is working on launching another campaign in Spring 2021 to compliment the promotion of our wonderful city and region, as our economy goes from strength to strength.

For more information:
[email protected]
06 350 1830

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