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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Domestic Tourism is an obvious focus for industry suppliers. My first question is whether there is enough evidence the numbers will be as high as we hope given that many people will be working longer hours in 2020 or would have used up much of their annual leave during the lockdown. With this, what concepts, messages and offerings do you react to when it comes to homegrown opportunities and getaways?My second question is whether anyone sees a likelihood of an ANZAC bubble being negotiated in Government. It may be the only way to keep the tourism industry afloat on both sides – I don’t think it will be enough relying on domestic at this stage.

Question submitted 07/04/20 @ 02:56pm
Industry: Tourism
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  • Hi there, you raise a good and rational point regarding domestic tourism and my view is you are right. Domestic tourism did represent over 50% of total spend on tourism in NZ before Covid-19 hit which not many people realise and it is definitely where the recovery will need to start. Everyone’s situation will be different coming out of this, some as you say will not be able to travel or treat themselves to luxuries for a while, others who came through it OK will have a pent up desire to get out of their bubble and neighbourhood, and take their family holiday in NZ instead of Fiji, Hawaii or Europe. It is hard to see corporate travel coming back fast as companies tighten their wallets and get used to doing meetings and conferences online. One thing we need to get over is the ingrained habit of not spending money on tourist attractions at home.. even though we do overseas quite happily. New Zealand is not a cheap place to travel, but it comes down to peoples perception of value. People will pay for something they see value in. To answer your question I am a little sceptical that the numbers and financial stability amongst consumers will be there to support businesses across the industry but there will certainly be places that traditionally have done very well from domestic tourism such as Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, and Queenstown who should make a good go if it if they tweak their product and in some cases adjust their pricing.

    I note that various tourism bodies have been pushing for the first boarder to open be Australia and it would make a lot of sense as we are each others largest source of visitors.

    It is certainly a time for refection and product adjustment and there are certainly operators out there working on new products and pricing structures to attract the domestic market when we gain our freedom again.

    I agree that there is possibly an incorrect assumption that Domestic Tourism will prove the saviour. Its best to analysis that market in segments, i.e. Corporate, Conference, Government and to a large degree ignore leisure as it is uncertain. The offerings therefore need to be tailored to these groups of travellers. If you can get an understanding of their needs and drive value at their touch points it may prove successful.

    Your second point around a Australasian bubble is being discussed and must be a priority. Here we may see a greater appetite for ‘Internal Tourism’ but I foresee households being very cautious. We must remember than when house prices rise households spend freely on holidays , cars and luxuries and we will have this fundamental reality to add to the loss of income, holidays leave taken to top up wages, and general caution.

    Stay safe, LM

    Thank you @Jason Hill.

    You have some interesting and valid points there, particularly around those wanting to treat themselves. As we saw down here in Christchurch post Earthquakes, car sales rocketed as families needed some exciting and new in their lives. However, as you mentioned, the market needs to drastically pivot its typical approach to tourism (being expensive, overseas focused). I guess in all, and what I’m hearing from your answer, is that suppliers need to be smart, prepared to move quickly and listen (intensely) to the market.

    @Les Morgan, thank you also for your reply.
    Corporate and conference trips are interesting. I see arguments both for and against this, but I have to agree that Domestic Tourism is unlikely to singlehandedly rebuild the industry. Therefore, as you say, get a deep understanding of what does drive the first people to travel, is key.

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