A Trans-Tasman visa sounds good

April 27th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Tourism bodies are calling for a single Australia-New Zealand visa to boost international visitor numbers on both sides of the Tasman.

The trans-Tasman visa would make long-haul flights ot Australia and New Zealand more enticing and allow the two countries to be marketed as a single destination, say the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand.

The two bodies have written to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Tourism in support of their call.

They want a regional visa that would allow international tourists to travel between both countries.

Sounds a great idea. Many tourists coming to one place do want to visit the other.

“A temporary Trans-Tasman Visa arrangement was implemented during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in which visitors travelling between 26 January and 5 April 2015 only required an Australian visa to travel over to New Zealand.

“A three-month visa was granted upon arrival in New Zealand to those holding an eligible Australian visa through the period,” the two industry groups said in a statement.

“Australia and New Zealand are long-haul destinations – it makes a lot of sense for us to package the two countries together in a joint regional visa to prospective international tourists who are weighing up the long flight to our countries,” said TTF chief executive Margy Osmond.

“The reality is that if you are coming halfway around the world to Australia or New Zealand you want to make it worth your while, just as travelling to Europe we visit a multitude of countries on that continent not just one.

“Seamless travel between Australia and New Zealand for our own citizens and international visitors is a goal we should be strongly pursuing to make our two nations a more attractive destination in what is a cut-throat, competitive tourism market.”

A 2014 TTF investigation suggested a joint visa scheme could increase the number of international visitors to the region by 141,300 people by 2020.

Not sure how robust that number is, but am sure it would help boost tourists numbers.

The key would be to make sure that there is policy alignment on who can get a visa.

100% failed

May 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The national tourism agency has successfully defended a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority laid by Fiji-based sustainable transport researcher Peter Nuttall, which was not upheld.

Mr Nuttall laid the complaint in March and said New Zealand could be the most pristine environment in the world.

“But it ain’t. Instead, we are saddled with short-term, narrow-focused profit-driven free marketeers more interested in spin-doctoring a myth to the world,” he said.

Takes a special kind of person to try and sabotage his own country’s tourism campaign. No wonder he lives in Fiji.

His complaint was backed by controversial freshwater scientist Mike Joy, who made headlines in November when he questioned the integrity of 100% Pure.

You’re either being malicious, or a moron, if you take a slogan as a literal statement of fact.

I look forward to the Greens and their supporters complaining about the following slogans also:

  • Arkansas – The Natural State; how dare they claim to be natural when they have cities
  • Idaho – great Potatoes, Tasty Destinations; where is the peer reviewed evidence their potatoes are great?
  • Iowa – is this heaven?; a blatant false statement
  • Michigan – Pure Michigan; Will Nuttall and Joy complain about Michigan also?
  • Vermont, naturally; Another hideous false claim as they also have cities
  • Pure Russia; I suggest they complain in person to Mr Putin
  • Switzerland Get Natural; Gnomes are not natural
  • Maldives: Always Natural; Clearly false

I wonder if those other countries have to put up with the same idiocy?

$158 million on tourism

April 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

John Key has announced:

“Today I am announcing that, as part of this package, we will be investing an additional $158 million over four years into tourism,” says uriMr Key.

“Achieving growth in tourism earnings requires targeted new investment to position New Zealand as a high value destination in markets with real potential for growth.”

In the year ended March 2012 tourism generated $9.6 billion of revenue and was 15.4 per cent of export earnings. It was 3.3 per cent of GDP and employed 6.2 per cent of the workforce.

“Later this week when I attend New Zealand’s premier tourism conference, TRENZ, I will announce details of where this $158 million will be invested,” says Mr Key.

Tourism is a great export earner, and helps reduce the current account deficit.

Current Vote Tourism is:

  • Departmental Costs $7.6m
  • Tourism Strategy $1.2m
  • Tourism Marketing $83.8m
  • National Cycleway $12.1m

A $158m increase over four years is an average of an extra $40m a year which is basically a 50% increase in the marketing budget.

Air NZ looking at South China visa scheme

December 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Grant Bradley at NZ Herald reports:

The Government says its fast-track visa scheme will be considered for other airlines besides China Southern, which already uses it, and Air New Zealand, which is in discussions to use it.

It isn’t actually a fast track. There is no priority given for processing. There are no different requirements. The only change is the sort of document you have to attach to prove you are not a penniless who has less than $4,000 cash is a frequent flyer status showing you have flown 40,000 kms in the last year rather than a bank statement.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Nathan Guy yesterday said the discussions between Air New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand were in their early stages.

“Similar arrangements with other airlines will be considered to increase tourism and trade with China.”

Excellent. South China took the initiative and proposed the arrangement, as they saw it as a good way to get more wealthy tourists flying here on their airline. Of course you’d allow any other airline that sees benefit to do the same.

China Southern Airlines gold and silver frequent flyer card holders no longer have to produce evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves, as long as they can show their flight records over the previous two years.

They would still need to get a visa, and still need to meet health and good character checks.

A minor and trivial change.

It is worth recalling that this is about getting more tourists to NZ, not immigrants. Tourists are great for our economy. They incur almost no expenses in terms of health, education or welfare and spend considerable amounts of money boosting the tourism sector economy, and tax from both corporate profits and GST. The more (especially) high spending tourists we get, the better for the economy and jobs.

100% idiocy

November 21st, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Motella blogs:

In 1999, Tourism New Zealand launched 100% Pure New Zealand with much fan-fare. When it comes to a tag-line in advertising, this is very powerful. If someone in the marketplace makes a claim that something is “100%” then this boldly stands out and makes you pause.The 100% Pure New Zealand tag-line was never meant to measure anything that is quantifiable or tangible. It relates to a mystical Kiwi state of mind. It’s a feeling, an attitude, a set of values or an aspiration that is unique to this country. This may seem to be somewhat wishy-washy, however if you look at the campaign in context, you will see majestic landscapes, unique people and exciting experiences that play out to the back-beat of an iconic Kiwi soundtrack. The tears will start to swell and all of a sudden the 100% Pure New Zealand tagline starts to make sense.Back in 1999 the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign resonated as a message that the public understood. The tag-line could be taken at face-value or could invite a simple thought process to uncover a deeper meaning. As time has moved on, the tag-line has accumulated some baggage. For many, the ability to think for themselves and understand the meaning behind 100% Pure New Zealand has been lost.Unfortunately there seems to be an increasing amount of people that suffer from the inability to view things in context. These uncreative, bland folk seem to have varying degrees of Asperger’s syndrome and tend to take things too literally. They just don’t get the 100% Pure New Zealand tagline and assume it’s an overreaching environmental catch-cry.Inevitably, these same mean-spirited, hapless folk believe 100% in the headline grabbing hysteria created by University environmental science lecturers, Green Party activists and Greenpeace vandals that get a kick from knocking New Zealand as a tourism destination.Has idiocy finally hijacked 100% Pure New Zealand?

Amazing that so many people try to sabotage the country’s tourism efforts. Of course 100% pure is not a literal statement on the environment. Only a moron or someone malicious would think it is. If you take the statement literally, then we could only use the slogan if we destroyed all the cities, closed down all the farms and oh yeah deported all the people.

The Fiordland monorail

August 15th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Simon Moutter’s first media statement since taking over the helm at Telecom this week has nothing to do with the telco.

In a news release from Fiordland Link Experience Moutter is quoted at length putting his weight behind tourism initiatives, including Fiordland’s proposed monorail.

Company spokesman John Beattie said the former Auckland International Airport chief executive believed it was vital for New Zealand to keep developing world-class tourism projects.

In today’s statement, Moutter calls for public support for new initiatives to sustain not only the sector, but jobs as well.

To be bold, the industry had to adapt to a changing world. Failing to do so would see the country fall behind, he said.

“The proposed Fiordland Link Experience, which will include the longest monorail journey in the world, is an example of the sort of ambitious privately funded tourism project this country needs to consider.

“This is the sort of product that I believe would be attractive to the high-value, shorter stay, new markets that will be vital to New Zealand’s tourism future so it merits serious consideration.”

I think the monorail project is a great win-win. It will be a significant tourist attraction, but also will reduce the need for such long car journeys, benefiting the environment.

A sleek monorail is also sympathetic to the conservation values. The magnificent Kuranda area rainforest is enhanced by the Skyrail which allows people to get into its heart without driving up the hill.

Tourism hopes on Hobbit

May 19th, 2012 at 9:42 am by David Farrar

Alan Wood at Stuff reports:

Shudderomg, broken buildings, bloodied, terrified people, swarms of orange-jacketed rescuers probing huge piles of concrete for signs of life, these were the images of February 22’s earthquake that beamed around the world last year.

And after every major aftershock in the past year there have been more pictures of destruction.

Little wonder that international tourists are giving the region and the South Island a wide berth. How does an industry recover when its lifeblood, international tourists, has shrunk massively? …

Rotorua’s Kay Clarke says her central North Island clients, a range of tourism operators, have certainly been hurt.

Her Stay and Play NZ Tourism Connections business has 46 clients in businesses ranging from accommodation, lake cruising to fly fishing adventures, with many reporting traveller numbers have dropped off.

Her team helped to market and promote these clients to Australia, Europe, the Americas and Asia, putting them in touch with wholesale buyers in these markets who bring tourists direct to the operators.

Clarke says the Canterbury earthquakes have “absolutely” impacted her clients in several ways. For some it’s having to change itineraries on tours. For others it is much more.

The perception that the whole of New Zealand was damaged is a real issue.

“Some of that is ongoing. Even when there is a little shake, sometimes the international media are showing old footage.

“We’re hearing even from some of the people at Trenz that it’s still impacting on their businesses. It therefore impacts on ours.”

The industry is made up of hundreds of small businesses. Some were noticeably downbeat at the Trenz tourism industry conference in Queenstown last week but they are looking for a silver lining to their troubles.

Tourism is one of our best ways to earn money, as it brings money directly into New Zealand. So what is the silver bullet?

All around the conference centre were billboards of the upcoming Hobbit films, one to be released at the end of this year and the second 12 months later.

This is the great hope of the industry – hope that it will set off a pilgrimage of tourists to New Zealand and showcase the glorious scenery and leisure and adventure options this small country can offer, just as the Lord of the Rings films did 12 years ago.

Just as well then that the Australian union did not succeed in killing off the Hobbit, supported by the hobbit haters in Labour. Everytime someone in Labour spits bile at the name Warners, consider what would have happened if they had won.

At the moment, New Zealand’s tourism industry is worth $9.7 billion in foreign spending a year, it keeps nearly 180,000 people in jobs and makes an 8.6 per cent contribution to gross domestic product.

I say keeping an Australian happy is more important than that.

Tourism more than clean and green

December 29th, 2009 at 9:48 am by David Farrar

Phil O’Reilly makes the point that our tourism is not just based on a clean and green brand. This is not to say one should not protect such a brand, but also not to get hysterical that some mining on 0.001% of DOC land will damage the brand. O’Reilly lists other reasons people visit here:

  • The country is beautiful, and the people are friendly, open, down to earth, direct, hospitable and welcoming. New Zealand people are “authentic”. They say there is something vibrant about us.
  • New Zealand is safe and pretty. It’s the least corrupt country in the world. The people are honest and trustworthy.
  • Americans say the food is good, with no worries about food safety. Australians talk about flying over to have fun in Courtenay Place.

And he goes on:

People overseas find our countryside beautiful but they tend to mention our people more. And, interestingly, I’ve never heard anyone describe New Zealand in terms of “clean and green”. Yet we seem to have convinced ourselves that that’s how the world sees us.

We seem to have a view that any chink in our environment will badly compromise our clean, green image in the eyes of the world.

I don’t think people overseas do have such simplistic opinions. Most people are realists. They understand that an absolutely pristine environment is not achievable unless humans are somehow removed from the picture.

As some want.