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Taupo Youth / Backpackers Industry Updates
Youth arrivals into New Zealand have dropped over recent years and tourism expenditure also appears to be on the decline. However, the Taupo region is still a popular option for the backpacker and youth market with our outdoor activities and high adrenalin options.
Our main challenges in this area are that new destinations are opening up to the youth market all the time, particularly India, South Africa and South America, and New Zealand is not necessarily seen as exotic any more. With the poor exchange rate, this also makes New Zealand an expensive option for many travellers.
It is important to remember that not all Youth travellers are backpackers, and there are a number of young adventurer’s also arriving in New Zealand, mainly from North American, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and China. There is also a strong presence of Youth visiting friends and families, and youth on working holidays or in New Zealand for education. All of these regions fall into the Youth category, however their research and style of travel may vary greatly.
Within New Zealand, there is still strong competition between regions for the backpack and youth dollar. Lake Taupo’s key competitors in terms of length of stay and youth focused activities remain Rotorua and Queenstown primarily. All three regions have a length of stay range between 1.7 to 2 nights, and all three regions offer a wide range of adrenalin acitivities and night time activities that appeal to this market.
In saying this the Lake Taupo region welcomes all the major backpacking and budget travel bus companies through town including Kiwi Experiece, Contiki, Top Deck and many of the more niche education groups such as Auckland Adventures, Moanna Motion, and Haka Tours.
Lake Taupo’s points of difference remain our adventure activities, natural landscape, walking and hiking, historic sites and free things to do and see in the region.
The past 12 months has been focused on revitalising the backpack and youth brand and image in Taupo, with a dedicated website and brochure produced. Now that the basics have been put in place, the purpose of the 2014-15 Business Plan will be focused around promotion and further exposure for the region in this market. The Backpack and Youth Portfolio will conduct a programme of work based around a combination of Sales, Marketing and Compliance to ensure the region is well represented in this market. This will be achieved by building relationships with key Travel Trade specialising in this market domestically through sales calls, and famils to the region and we will work alongside Tourism NZ to maximise any opportunities available to promote the Taupo region offshore.
Our strategy for the Backpack and Youth Market will be primarily focused on the domestic market, capturing the attention of the Youth traveller while they are in New Zealand with the message of visiting ‘Natures Ultimate Playground’. We will build a dedicated database of Travel Trade in this sector and then work on relationships with these businesses throughout New Zealand to increase the awareness of the services and facilities available to the youth market in Taupo and to put our region ‘top of mind’ when making recommendations and suggestions to their clients. This will be achieved through regular sales calls and a famil programme to upskill and educate Youth Travel Trade on the region. We will continue to provide updated content to Tourism NZ and leverage opportunities available to promote the region alongside Tourism NZ, to the offshore markets.
Great Lake Taupo Backpack & Youth – Key Objectives 2014 - 2015
Objective 1: To continue revitalising the positioning of the Great Lake Taupo region in the youth and backpack sector and upskill and educate Youth Travel Trade in New Zealand on what Great Lake Taupo can offer this market
Objective 2: Effective industry engagement with the Youth and Backpack stakeholders and the Great Lake Taupo operators as a whole.