No place like home

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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A tourism campaign to encourage Southlanders to explore their own backyard will restart this month.

The Venture Southland On Your Doorstep initiative highlights the benefits of holidaying at home and offers deals to locals using tourism businesses in the region.

Venture Southland domestic and online marketing co-ordinator Nicole Botting said the $10,000 campaign was so successful it was being run for the third year.

The success was measured by how many local people took up deals provided by tourism operators and from talking to individual operators about the feedback they had received.

It was a chance for Southlanders to see what tourists were raving about in places such as Fiordland, she said.

She urged Southlanders to get out and enjoy their region and the activities on offer.

Lake Hauroko in Fiordland National Park, Milford and Doubtful sounds, the Catlins and Stewart Island were some of the places they got to know better last year.

The campaign this year will run from March 31 to April 20 in the lead-up to the school holidays.

Vouchers for activities could be used during that time.

A national awareness campaign to attract more visitors from places such as Auckland and Christchurch to cycle in Southland was also successful, Ms Botting said.

The $40,000 budget was used for national advertisements and a dedicated page on the website southlandnz.com, which had interactive maps providing information on cycling in the region such as events, bike hire and tracks and videos to showcase the region's tracks.

The success of the campaign in October and November was measured by visitors to the website landing page, numbers of entries into a competition and response to social media and Google ads.

The site had 7000 visitors and 9000 watched the videos. More than 300 people entered the competition and there were 1732 new Facebook followers.

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- The Southland Times

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