Blog4NZ: NZ is open and pumping
22 Mar 2011
New Zealand has laid down the welcome mat with a new campaign to assure travellers that the country is very much open for business, while bloggers throughout the world are extolling the virtues of the destination.
A Blog4NZ initiative launched yesterday (21.3.11) is pumping out positive posts from enthusiastic travellers sharing their love for the country, and valuable endorsements from high-profile companies within the travel industry.
At the same time, Tourism New Zealand has launched a ‘New Zealand is Open’ campaign to let people know they’ll never be more welcome to visit than now, and to dispel any myths about post-earthquake travel.
All services and tourism businesses throughout New Zealand, including most of Canterbury, are operating without disruption.
Enthusiastic Kiwi reception
Visitors can expect a 100% enthusiastic Kiwi reception from tourism operators who have banded together to show they are fully operational and ready to welcome tourists.
Ads featuring photos of genuine tourism operators holding up ‘open’ signs outside their businesses have been running in national newspapers in Australia and the United Kingdom as part of the ‘New Zealand is Open’ campaign.
TNZ chief executive Kevin Bowler says one of the best things people can do to show support for Christchurch is to visit New Zealand.
"A strong tourism sector is vital for the New Zealand's economy and a strong economy will help Christchurch get back on its feet faster. We want visitors to know that the reasons behind New Zealand being considered among the top two places in the world to visit in 2011 are as valid today as they were when media giant CNN said it in January," Bowler says.
Favourite NZ experiences
Over the past few weeks Tourism New Zealand has hosted many international media from a variety of countries including the UK, Australia, France, Canada and Japan to show them the rest of New Zealand.
"It's not yet a month since the Christchurch earthquake and we know there is much work to do. Positively shifting international perceptions to the view that New Zealand is open and ready to welcome visitors will go some way to ensuring visitor numbers over the next few months remain strong," said Bowler.
TNZ is also working on another social media campaign targeting New Zealanders and past visitors, and asking them to share their favourite New Zealand experiences.
To be launched on Friday (25.3.11) on the 100% Pure New Zealand facebook page, myNZ will give New Zealanders and recent visitors who upload a photo or video, the chance to bring a friend to New Zealand.
Those who vote for their favourite content, will be in to win a trip for two to New Zealand.
Social networks are buzzing with Kiwi-related comment and Blog4NZ has been picked up by prominent online sites like YahooExtra Travel, Lonely Planet, Pacific Blue, Nomads backpacker hostels, Jasons Travel Media and Rugby World Cup.
It is receiving more than 100 tweets per hour and has appeared as a trend on Wanderlisting.
For 72 hours, bloggers and travel writers are invited to publish an article about New Zealand highlighting some of the sights and attractions of the country, and urging travellers not to be put off by the Christchurch earthquake.
The Blog4NZ project is being run by four Kiwi travel bloggers - Jim McIntosh from Holes in My Soles, John Reese from The French Way, Craig Martin from the Indie Travel Podcast, and Dan Roberts from Travel Generation) and has also attracted the attention of businesses and mainstream travel groups.
"It’s exciting to see people pull together like this, especially in the strange and wonderful world of travel blogging, where everyone has such a unique point of view and the platform to share it from.
"There’s still a lot to be done for the people of Christchurch - things there are by no means back to normal - but there’s little to no impact for visitors, apart for missing some sightseeing in the central city. New Zealand is very definitely open to visitors," says Martin.
Tourism industry support
The project is also being touted as the first time a grassroots social media initiative has managed to secure massive support from a string of high profile organisations including Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.
Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand are offering a prize to the blogger who provides the best New Zealand content.
The winner will be hosted in New Zealand as part of Tourism New Zealand’s International Media Programme, and Air New Zealand has donated a return flight to Auckland from the nearest Air New Zealand international departure point to where the winner lives.
During the event Tourism New Zealand will be pulling tweets into its Facebook page.
New Zealand - place to be in 2011
Blog4NZ takes New Zealand to the world
Christchurch - Canterbury region
These topics may also be of interest to you
|NZ is open: Polyfest brings together 9000 performers for a week of fierce cultural competitions