While tourism businesses scramble to adapt to the domestic market in the wake of Covid-19, Fiordland’s regional tourism organisation could argue its one step ahead of them all.
Destination Fiordland has always been justifiably proud of its operators and attractions in the lakeside townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, and the raw majesty of Fiordland National Park’s glacier-carved fiords and rugged mountains.
But with many visitors starting and finishing their Fiordland adventures in Queenstown, making a quick pit-stop in Te Anau, the tourism organisation embarked on a brand refresh in October last year.
The goal? To shout loud and clear from those mountaintops that Fiordland exemplifies all that’s good about New Zealand and is a destination in its own right, where locals value their visitors and ‘walk the talk’ about maintaining the world-class natural environment for generations to come.
The new brand ‘Fiordland – Beyond Belief’ was revealed to operators this week, setting out to target domestic travelers from day one and positioning Te Anau as ‘base camp’, while opening the eyes of international visitors to the fact there’s so much more to Fiordland than Milford Sound.
“The launch of our new brand comes at a challenging time, where fortune favours the bold,” says Destination Fiordland manager Madeleine Peacock. “Our challenge was to find a positioning that reflects all this majesty and helps drive visitation by making Fiordland a unique, inspiring, authentic and unmissable part of Aotearoa New Zealand, a place worth visiting.
“Fiordland is a must-see for international visitors but even last year we could see the untapped potential of domestic visitors. We clearly have a job to do at home, and this is a great start.”
Ms Peacock says ‘Fiordland – Beyond Belief’ conveys the scale, grandeur and mind-blowing nature of the area, and applies to everything on offer from the people who call Fiordland ‘home’ to the quality of experiences, accommodation and food, and a deep sense of connection with the environment .
“Our research has identified Kiwis desire to connect with nature, looking for real world experiences in their backyard, connecting with natural environments and ensuring those environments will be protected for generations to come – it’s about who we are as Kiwis.
“Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, the Great Walks and Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri have to an extent been hiding in the shadow of Milford Sound, however these areas are equally as impressive.”
Kerri James, owner operator of award-winning five-star accommodation provider Radfords On The Lake, says she’s “absolutely delighted” with the new brand.
“People down this way epitomise Southern hospitality, and ‘beyond belief’ is the perfect fit to describe Fiordland and everything we have to offer,” she says.
Fiordland Outdoors owner operator Christine Wallace says the brand is in “perfect synergy” with the high-value experience that Fiordland offers.
“The brand communicates a premium location and offering that’s very much in sync with what we do here. It’s very timely when all regions around New Zealand are being considered by domestic travelers,” she says.
Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing, says Air New Zealand has a special connection with Fiordland through its work with DOC to bring back birdsong on the Great Walks, three of which are located in Fiordland.
“Fiordland Beyond Belief helps position Fiordland as a world-class destination, famous for its majestic scenery, and has inspired me to visit this unique and special part of New Zealand,” she says.
Operators are currently being encouraged to incorporate the ‘Beyond Belief’ brand and associated imagery into their marketing and a new website is expected to launch within the next two months.