Queenstown Excited To Welcome Visitors Again

Queenstown Excited To Welcome Visitors Again

In two recent NZ polls Queenstown has ranked the first choice of destination Kiwis are planning to visit once travel restrictions lift. It’s a great acknowledgement from people across New Zealand that Queenstown is an inspirational destination that they are keen to visit again.

The announcement yesterday that NZ will move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday has been met with delight in Queenstown, with operators in the Southern Hemisphere’s premier holiday destination excited to welcome visitors again and get back to business.

Regional tourism organisation, Destination Queenstown, says the announcement is hugely important and provides a pathway to recovery for tourism operators moving into the vital winter season.

Destination Queenstown interim CEO, Ann Lockhart, says tourism operators are keen to get back to doing what they do best – inviting visitors to share our culture and spectacular part of the country.

“The announcement today will provide some relief for businesses in Queenstown following many weeks of uncertainty. Tourism operators will now be looking at how the rules apply to them, how they can safely operate under alert level 2 and making any adaptations to do so. While this isn’t a total panacea it is a good step in the right direction. DQ will be working with businesses this week to understand their plans and identify any support they may need access to,’’ Ms Lockhart said.

“We are certain that our world leading tourism operators are well equipped to meet requirements to deliver great experiences, in a safe environment. We are excited our ski fields are able to operate, our hospitality sector will be looking forward to serving visitors again soon, and many of our activities will be able to make the guidelines work.”

The return of commercial air services to Queenstown will also go a long way toward getting the Queenstown community back on its feet.

Destination Queenstown (DQ) has developed a framework of marketing activity in response to Covid-19. The approach has three stages; local, regional and domestic and aims to tell our story from the inside out, celebrating our culture and our diversity.

The first campaign, #WeAreQueenstown, launched two weeks ago has centred on the local community. The marketing campaign not only encourages support for local businesses, but aims to inspire community spirit and pride, reminding locals why they choose to call Queenstown home.

DQ began ramping up winter marketing activity last week, following announcement of the inclusion of domestic travel in level 2. This will culminate with the launch of a new winter marketing campaign, targeting the domestic market, on 1 June. The campaign will be a celebration of being back in the outdoors, exploring, discovering and spending time with friends – some true Kiwi favourites.

DQ is also underway with research to get a wider understanding of the domestic market. The work will provide insights to both inform DQ marketing investment and activity but also to deliver key insights for DQ members.

Ms Lockhart says the RTO is keen to unlock the lockdown wanderlust and invite New Zealanders to enjoy our great outdoors, our vibrant town, exceptional dining and iconic activities.

“Queenstown’s world-class activities and outstanding natural beauty have earned Queenstown a collection of accolades over the years and now is the perfect time for Kiwis to experience why.”

New Zealanders have always played an important role in Queenstown’s visitation. Kiwis coming to Queenstown have historically made up a third of all visitors.

This was created by Destination Queenstown and first published on Scoop.

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Media Training Key To Successful Communications

Media Training Key To Successful Communications

By Fiona Woodham

Business leaders right now are finding themselves in the spotlight, often (especially if they’re in tourism) in the tricky position of having to rationalise or justify business closures or staff redundancies.

If they’re a business entrepreneur, start-up or have successfully ‘pivoted’ their business to provide goods or services that people need or want right now, it’s a golden opportunity to build or enhance their personal or business brand.

The team at Southern PR’s known for its comprehensive Media Training, based on over 25 years in the PR industry in NZ and over a decade in journalism for national UK & NZ newspapers.

So – media interviews can be intense. But if you’re prepared, keep calm and have some key ‘pivot’ techniques in your pocket, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK – Know what you want to say, why and how. Work out your key messages, and practice saying them out loud. Believe me, it helps.
  • RELAX – Take a deep breath, drink a glass of water before you start. Think about what you’re wearing, how you look, and what’s in the background. Put your best face forward.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK – Don’t be rushed, take a second to pause before answering a question. Keep responses short, on topic and you’re less likely to get ‘lost’ (and lose your listener in the process). Talk in soundbites.
  • TALK LIKE A POLITICIAN – Hmmm, maybe some more than others! If you’re asked a question that’s going off topic, is challenging, or going down a route you don’t want to go down, use the bridging technique. For example:  “I don’t have those specific details, what I can say is…” and get back on message.
  • CORRECT YOURSELF – Sometimes something comes out of your mouth and you know straight away it’s not right. Never be afraid to say “I’m sorry, can I correct that?”
  • CORRECT THE INTERVIEWER – if they get something wrong, be firm but clear. Use a bridging technique to get back on message such as: “That’s not correct, the facts are…”
  • DON’T REPEAT NEGATIVES – a common enough mistake. For example, if a question asks if your company is lying, don’t repeat the word “lying” in your response unless you want it to be part of your soundbite. Start with: “The facts are…” then transition to your message.
  • HIGHLIGHT YOUR KEY MESSAGE – literally. You get full attention when you say something like “The key thing here is…”
  • SPEAK UP AND SHUT UP – Do not, what ever you do, fill in the silence between questions. Invariably this will end up being the headline, the moment at which you lost the plot and said something that wandered off topic. Answer the question, keep on message, wait for the next question. Easy.

If you’d like to know more or enquire about full media training and PR services, email [email protected]

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From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

A multi-award-winning Tekapo tourism operation business is celebrating 12 years in business with the launch of new attractions and a very special Australian bushfire relief package.

The horror stories that came out of the bushfire tragedy prompted Tekapo Springs to reach out to an Australian family that’s ‘lost everything’ with a collaborative package to take them from the fire-ravaged region to the peace and tranquillity of Tekapo.

The family has yet to be told, but their dream holiday will include return flights to Christchurch with Air New Zealand, a five-night accommodation package including Accor Hotels’ Peppers Bluewater hotel in Tekapo and a rental car from Thrifty.

Tekapo Springs has donated the return flights and activities at their complex, including the hot pools, day spa treatments and a tour with Tekapo Star Gazing.

Tekapo Jet, Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, Christchurch Adventure Park, Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Hassle Free Tours – Christchurch Hop On Hop Off Tour, KJet Queenstown and Ziptrek Ecotours have also offered activities.

Tekapo Springs’ sales and marketing manager Andy Murray says they’re “thrilled” with the response so far.

“We’re celebrating 12 years of having built a fantastic business in Tekapo so thought it was time to give back to our local and wider community,” he says.

“We know after having talked to Australian visitors who’ve lived through the fires just how much they appreciate getting away from it all, so we came up with this gorgeous family package. Along with the other businesses that have given so generously, we can’t wait to host them.”

The Australian relief package was announced this week as Tekapo Springs officially launched its fun new summer activities, the Jumpernaut and Aqua Drop waterslide.

Tekapo Springs was founded by Karl Burtscher, who still owns the company. It developed over the years to become a multi-award-winning, world-renowned and year-round tourism attraction featuring three hot pools, two cooler pools and an aqua play area, a day spa, a café and bar, steam and sauna rooms, unique stargazing products, and an ice rink and snow tube park.

It operates 364 days a year, employs up to 50 people and welcomes around 150,000 people a year.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved,” says Karl. “We’ve had an awesome summer as domestic tourism in New Zealand has been really strong, so we celebrated by having some fun, acknowledging our 12thbirthday milestone and giving back in the best way we can to our friends in Australia who’re having a hard time.”

Karl thanked the Albury Ice Hockey Club (now called Mackenzie Ice Hockey Club) as without their support and allowing the sale of the land, the Tekapo Springs complex of today would not exist.

“I also want to say a huge ‘thank you’ the local Tekapo and the wider Mackenzie community as without their support this would not have been possible,” he says.

Mackenzie district Mayor Graham Smith attended the birthday celebration along with Canterbury Cricket stars Chad Bowes and Cam Fletcher. The Mayor got into the spirit of things by racing the young cricketers on the Jumpernaut followed by a speed trial on the Aqua Drop, where speeds of 41km per hour were reached.

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The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s LUMA 

The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s LUMA 

The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s award-winning sensory experience LUMA.

Scheduled to return to the Queenstown Gardens for its fifth year of illuminated art, sculpture and performance on Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the LUMA team has made the heartbreaking decision to pull the plug on this year’s event.

The group of passionate individuals which make up the LUMA Light Festival Trust have spent the past ten months dreaming, planning, scheming and preparing for Queenstown’s award-winning arts and culture event.

LUMA Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth said they had been “crossing our fingers” that LUMA20 would be able to defy the Covid-19 odds and bring a ray of bright, colourful light to the start of June.

“Today the LUMA Light Festival Trust made the difficult decision to cancel for 2020 and focus our energy on looking after each other, our whanau, our businesses and the wider Queenstown community,” he said.

“This will enable us to return brighter than ever in 2021. It’s a huge blow to our family of artists, partners, fellow instigators and funders. We’d like to take this chance to sincerely thank everyone who’s been part of the LUMA story so far.

“This is the beginning of the next chapter and we aim to begin working on LUMA21 as soon as the time feels right for us and the wider community.”

Duncan said discussions were already underway with major funders to agree on a rollover plan for 2021.

“The government’s decision to impose restrictions on incoming visitors and more recently, to discourage large gatherings, is the right one and we fully support it. Every effort must be made to slow down the spread of the virus and give our health system a chance to minimise harm to all New Zealanders.

“We’re fortunate to live in a community which knows how to look after people and it’s our shared responsibility to care for one another and above all stay safe.”

For further media information or high res images please contact:
Mandy Cooper
E: [email protected]
M: 0273377907

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