New Zealand Heats Up
An increase in international tourism arrivals to New Zealand presents a unique opportunity for resort developers.
In January, visitor arrivals to New Zealand rose to more than 3.5 million annually, an increase of 11 percent from the year before, according to New Zealand Tourism. And they’re coming from all over; travelers from the U.S. and China have increased by 24 percent and 9 percent, respectively, from February 2016 to February 2017.
“There has been an increase in timeshare owners wanting to go to New Zealand throughout the year due to the variety of activities available in all seasons,” says Tanya Lord, account executive of Pacific at RCI Asia Pacific. The country’s “100% Pure” campaign has successfully showcased New Zealand’s outdoor appeal by highlighting its rafting and diving, wildlife, food and wine trails, and stargazing spots.
Pop culture has also played a role, as tourists seek out the breathtaking settings of the Lord of the Rings films. “Matamata and the surrounding areas continue to attract international visitors who want to walk in the shoes of Gandalf and the hobbits,” Lord says.
New Zealand is a mature market, with only a few timeshares in active sales, according to Lord. Since there’s interest in the destination, that spells opportunity for developers. Perhaps look to Auckland—the city ranked third on Kayak’s Top 10 Trending Destinations for 2017, with searches for it increasing 44 percent over the past year. The Lord of the Rings filming locations in Queenstown have made it a desirable area—the resort town ranked as the number one destination in New Zealand on Trip Advisor’s 2017 Travelers Choice Awards.
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