Wooing the media with wine and water
Marlborough's wide open skies, blue waters, fine dining and wine wowed a group of international travel writers at the weekend.
The group of nine writers and bloggers visited Marlborough as part of a trip to the World of WearableArt (WOW) show in Wellington.
They were hosted by Tourism New Zealand's International Media Programme, which aims to raise awareness of activities and attractions in New Zealand through editorials in international travel publications and websites.
The group arrived in Marlborough on Sunday and experienced the food, wine and accommodation at Brancott Heritage Estate, Bay of Many Coves restaurant and Mercure Hotel Picton. Before crossing Cook Strait yesterday they took in the accommodation, cafe, wild life and art at Lochmara Lodge.
Tourism New Zealand senior events marketing co-ordinator Shannon Walker said sports, cultural and art events like WOW are ideal hooks for visitors' itineraries. "These events are great because they are on a set date, they only happen once a year, so people have a time pressure to book," he said.
Once "hooked" the trick is to upsell the trip by offering more activity ideas, in hopes they will extend their stay.
Wai Chun is a travel writer for Hong Kong publications Apple Daily, Oriental Daily, Metropop magazine, and Jet magazine which have a combined readership of more than one million. He also co-hosts a weekly travel show on Radio DBC.
Marlborough is a world away from Hong Kong, he said.
"In Hong Kong people have a very hectic lifestyle. They just want to get away and spoil themselves and stop thinking for a little while."
Mr Chun praised Marlborough's great food and wine and genuine hospitality, which is also important to Chinese travellers, he said.
Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said Tourism New Zealand funds the programme and businesses and Destination Marlborough funds the activities, food and accommodation.
Last year Marlborough businesses contributed $70,000 towards media programmes.
The results are far cheaper and more credible than paying for advertisements in foreign publications, she said. For example, a full page advertisement in Apple Daily is NZ$34,258.
Mrs Johnston hopes the articles, photo essays and television shows generated by Marlborough media programmes will equal more than $1 million in paid advertising this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News