The Cook Islands Tourism Australia and New Zealand are pleased to bring an update on their marketing activities.
Below is an update on the two markets:
- Visitor arrivals from Australia continue to grow year on year which is very pleasing and forward bookings are also positive. Aussie YTD calendar year arrivals Jan-April 2019 are currently +10% and Financial Year to Date (from July ’18 – April 2019) is +7%. We are doing everything we can to grow this market further, despite having only one non-stop flight per week.
- Over the past 2-3 years, we have increased the amount of advertising to the consumer in Australia by a huge amount and this is reflected in the increased arrivals and the number of people visiting our website, which has increased by 175% in the last 2 years.
- Mainstream media coverage in Australia in the past year has been phenomenal and the stories that we are securing as a result of sending journalists up is critical to our strategy. We will continue to secure editorial in major publications and we sincerely appreciate the support we receive from industry to make these famils a reality.
- Visitor arrivals from NZ declined slightly in the first three months of this year, but rebounded in April. NZ YTD calendar year arrivals Jan-April 2019 are currently -5%, but Financial Year to Date (from July ’18 – April 2019) is +2%. That said, we expect to see bookings from the NZ market improve over the next few months and are confident we will see 2019 calendar year arrivals exceed last year.
- We are in an exceptionally competitive market at present, affected largely by new non-stop flights to Bali and especially cheap deals to Fiji including children flying, staying and eating free! In addition, NZ is enjoying a long, late summer and we expect to see a late booking trend for South Pacific holidays emerge. There will be some swings and roundabouts month by month, but we are confident that with the activity we have been doing, and continue to do in-market, annual growth will continue.
- We have brand and tactical activity running now and over the next few months that will include a highly visible digital and social media presence targeting specific market segments.
- There will be several wholesale campaigns featuring TV, mainstream press, radio and digital; and several airline campaigns that will include press, digital and social.
- Outdoor brand advertising is running in both countries (trains and buses) and will continue until September.
- Over the past few months, airfares to Rarotonga have been very competitive and we are maximising those fares with above the line advertising. There is substantial activity planned in the next few months.
- Jetstar has increased their number of weekly flights on AKL/RAR from four to six for July-October. This is great news and ensures that we have plenty of air capacity for our high season.
- Expressions of interest have been sent out for wedding and honeymoon shows that we are attending in Australia and NZ. Accredited industry are invited to join us at the shows, or alternatively we are offering a ‘brochure display’ option if you are unable to attend.