DATELINE NEW ZEALAND: Message to friends


What do you do when country borders are closed, most of the world, like you, has to stay home – and your professional lives depend on travel? 

With widespread travel restrictions and popular destinations closed, travel agents are now faced with extraordinary challenges, their livelihoods at risk.  

Out of this scenario, a different sort of marketing campaign has evolved from within Tourism New Zealand’s trade marketing department. ‘Messages from New Zealand’ presents the voices of New Zealand’s tourism industry – a community experiencing similar trials – with messages of inspiration and encouragement to their global partners.  

Tourism New Zealand’s Trade team is part of the international community who are at the front door to New Zealand – international travel sellers who promote, advise and ultimately sell travel to New Zealand to their clients. The team knows many of these travel professionals personally, having trained, worked and travelled with them over time. Most have completed the New Zealand Specialist Programme (NZSP) and are accredited gold, silver or bronze NZSP agents who know and have visited New Zealand. 

During the last few months and against the tide of circumstances, these bonds have strengthened as Tourism New Zealand staff members have kept in touch and tried to show the same Kiwi cultural values of warm welcome and deep care that make a New Zealand holiday unique – dishing up homespun recipes, puzzles and competitions along with professional training modules and webinars.  

“This campaign is outside the norm because there is no immediate call to action,” says Tansy Tompkins, Global Manager Trade Marketing, Tourism New Zealand. “While borders are closed, we aim to keep New Zealand alive and fresh for our global travel agents and then, as we get closer to reopening, to help travel agents convert their clients’ desire to travel here.” 

Messages from New Zealand presents a themed video series of vignettes from tourism operators around New Zealand speaking directly to travel agents and answering the question: “If we could encourage your clients to look forward to one thing in New Zealand, what would it be?” 

As part of this project, the team spent time in conversation with travel agents in New Zealand’s key visitor markets learning about what was happening in their lives, discussing how TNZ could best assist them to maintain their business networks and hearing about their New Zealand experiences. A second video series runs alongside with travel agents talking about what makes New Zealand a unique and desirable destination.   

There are also new marketing assets based on the campaign visuals and content available for travel businesses to adapt for their own marketing channels.   

Messages from New Zealand launches globally on Tuesday, 1 September and runs until April 2021. It will be distributed via dedicated travel trade platforms.  

Check out the first themed video here on traveltrade.newzealand.com: Romance & Relaxation