Opinion: Joint Australia, New Zealand Tourism Promotion Makes Perfect Sense

Queenstown, New Zealand

China's Xinhua news agency is reporting that New Zealand is to host a meeting of Australian state and federal tourism ministers next month to discuss ways the two countries can work together to attract foreign visitors.

“The Tourism Ministers Meeting is an opportunity for Australian and New Zealand ministers to monitor progress on important tourism strategies, policy and to exchange views on international tourism trends that affect both countries,” New Zealand Associate Tourism Minister Todd McClay said in a statement.

Travel Agent thinks this move would make perfect sense considering both destinations complement each other extremely well and both destinations can stand on their own as viable vacation options. 

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There was a time when New Zealand was considered a destination that Americans would stop over at for a day or two before taking their longer vacation in Australia, but with the immense popularity of such films as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, many Americans previously unfamiliar with New Zealand’s offerings were introduced to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. 

Now it’s not uncommon to find more and more American travelers visiting Australia for a few days before spending the bulk of their trip to New Zealand. 

RELATED: New Zealand Tourism on the Rise; How Agents Can Capitalize

“The fact is also that many northern hemisphere travelers visit both Australia and New Zealand during the same trip. It's therefore important we work together to promote our unique countries internationally,” said McClay.

In fact, this past Easter holiday was evidence that more and more Americans are making their way to New Zealand. Accoridng to Statistics New Zealand, a late Easter holiday this year helped international tourist numbers to New Zealand surge by 12 percent, or 224,000 clients, in April, compared with the same time last year. According to reports, the United States was among the top four markets for New Zealand tourists with Australia, China and Britain making up the remaining three. 

A joint tourism promotion would provide these such clients with packages, offerings and incentives that would incorporate stays in both countries. This would also mean that agents wouldn’t have a hard time finding more operators combining robust packages to both countries. 

Although international travel would benefit from such a move, domestic travel would also stand to gain immensely. In the year to March, more than 1.2 million Australians visited New Zealand and spent more than $1.3  billion making Australia New Zealand's biggest tourism market, while more than 1.1 million New Zealanders visited Australia, spending $1.5 billion.

Discussions would be based on “win-win opportunities” for both countries, such as the single trans-Tasman visitor visa and other procedures to make travel easier for international visitors coming for the Cricket World Cup being hosted by the two countries next year, according to the report.

The date and venue for the Tourism Ministers Meeting, to be chaired by Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, would be announced in the near future, said McClay.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this ongoing story.

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