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Sunshine Coast welcomes back New Zealanders

April 17, 2021 Visit Queensland No Comments

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast says that it is rolling out the welcome mat and getting ready to welcome back Kiwi visitors, following the announcement by the New Zealand government for quarantine-free Trans-Tasman travel for Australians to start from 11.59pm, Sunday 18 April, 2021.Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) CEO Matt Stoeckel warmly welcomed the news as a critical step for the region’s tourism recovery saying, “Prior to the pandemic, New Zealand was our number one international market with 84,000 annual visitors, 650,000 room nights, and an economic value of $110 million”, and “It’s a market that also has huge potential for the Sunshine Coast and strategically important for the region.”

He added, “Previously, the New Zealand holiday visitor would stay for an average of 7.9 nights, and with seasonal direct flights from Auckland, Kiwi travellers have found our climate, nature-based experiences and laid-back lifestyle particularly attractive over the winter months.”

He also said, “We know there is huge pent-up demand in New Zealand for international travel and have been working in the background to prepare for the borders to reopen. We have a dedicated resource in New Zealand that has been developing strategies and activities for our market re-entry that will commence from tomorrow in anticipation of the first services to Australia from 18 April 2021”, adding, “This includes a For real multi-channel campaign which follows the successful first phase of the campaign that was rolled out earlier in the year in anticipation of the borders opening during 2021…the campaign is ideally timed, to encourage Kiwis to take a winter break and come and enjoy the breadth and depth of experiences available on the Sunshine Coast. In particular it highlights our natural environment which makes us such an attractive and safe destination to visit”.

Visit Sunshine Coast says that over the coming months, they will roll out what they call a robust industry development program “Restart-New Zealand”, which will comprise mentoring and a set of workshops to assist Sunshine Coast operators to maximise opportunities from the New Zealand market.

New Zealand travel profile

Prior to the pandemic:

  • New Zealand was the number one international market for the Sunshine Coast.
  • The Sunshine Coast attracted 84,000 visitors accounting for 650,000 room nights.
  • New Zealand visitors value of $110 million for the Sunshine Coast tourism economy.
  • Holiday visitor average length of stay on the Sunshine Coast of 7.9 nights.

*International Visitor Statistics to year ending March 2020, Tourism Research Australia.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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