Auckland Airport in New Zealand has named four local tourism operators as the winners of its NZ$100,000 (US$65,400) competition to develop tourism from Asian markets during the quiet season from May to September.
YHA New Zealand, Explore Group, Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Whai Maia and ZeaYou Travel will each receive NZ$25,000 (US$16,360) as the winners of the competition.
Norris Carter, general manager of aeronautical commercial at Auckland Airport, said, “We wanted to inspire businesses to think innovatively about creating experiences that will attract free independent travelers (FITs) in the traditional off-peak season.
“We received many high-caliber entries so it was a difficult decision to choose the winning applicants. The prize money will be used by the winners for the development of a seasonally-themed tourism experience for visitors from an Asian market of their choice.”
YHA New Zealand, one of the successful applicants, is New Zealand’s largest network of backpacker accommodation with a focus on helping youth travelers explore New Zealand.
Brian Westwood, manager, marketing and sales, YHA, said, “This grant provides us with a significant lift in our capability to grow consumer awareness and support among our target audience in China. This is the catalyst we have been looking for, to elevate our presence in China, not only for the short term but also for a much longer term social media strategy.”
Carole Beggs, sales manager for Explore Group, a local tour and cruise company said, “When Auckland Airport announced this competition we knew it was an excellent opportunity, regardless of the outcome, to really focus on our Asian market.
“It made us start to think more laterally about the sales and marketing of our product offering – ensuring that we were relevant and telling our stories in the right way to the growing Asian FIT market. We are really excited about the opportunities that will come from working with Auckland Airport to take these products to the market.”