Visitors from the US on the hunt for golfing experiences Visitors from the US on the hunt for golfing experiences

Who's coming to NZ & why

While visitors from Australia, China and America are united in wanting to travel to New Zealand, the reasons for doing so are diversified.
That was apparent during a 2017 Tourism Panel that put the microscope on the needs of these markets and their travellers.
Mario Santander, the country manager of New Zealand for American Airlines, says visitors from the US are on the hunt for golfing experiences and high-end resorts: ‘They want to spend the money to take a helicopter to Waiheke to experience the wineries.’

Meanwhile, young Aussies are gunning for the type of high-end adventure seen in Rotorua, says Flight Centre Travel Group general manager product, advertising, customer experience and sales, Darren White.
‘It’s giving Gold Coast parks a run for their money,’ White says.
And China Travel Services managing director Lisa Li says gone are the days of mass Chinese travelling groups. Today, 80% of visitors are FIT, on business or travelling with their families… and they are looking for a more immersive travelling experience.
‘The Chinese no longer say: “I came, I saw”. Now they say: “I came, I did”.’
But while Americans view New Zealand as a bucket-list item, those across the ditch treat it as a domestic market. White says a recent Flight Centre promotion to New Zealand, Fire and Ice, exceeded the organisation’s expectations, the potential for sales here remains very much on being a long-weekend destination – perfect for short, sharp stays.  
On problem areas, Santander says there is a gap when it comes to moving groups of about 200 around the country, and Li sites disasters, such as the recent Kaikoura earthquake, as being a potential for concern.
And White is perplexed by the journey to the city from Auckland Airport.
‘The infrastructure to and from the airport is an issue… I’ve come here a few times now, and I always wonder why it is I am going through the suburbs?’
Although Li says hotel options are currently meeting the needs of Chinese travellers, more accommodation is a must in the years ahead. However, the China visitor was also on the hunt for value and the FIT happily stay in motels and B&Bs, she adds.

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