Tourism New Zealand has released its first brand campaign to the world since international coronavirus lockdowns began to take effect.
The new 100% Pure campaign, ‘Pure Promise’, comes at an extraordinary time for travel. While kiwis can finally stretch their legs and tour their own country, due to the relaxing of domestic border restrictions, its international borders remain closed.
Across the Tasman, Australians are in a similar position.
Andrew Waddel, general manager Australia for Tourism New Zealand, said this year’s iteration of the 21-year-old 100% Pure campaign focuses on reconnecting with friends and Whānau (family) – values at the heart of the country’s unique Māori culture, he said – and reflecting on what’s important in life.
Waddel also believes now is the appropriate time to share such a message, as both Australia and New Zealand chart paths of recovery out of COVID-19, despite borders remaining closed to internationals.
“We know that people around the world have a special connection to New Zealand,” he told Travel Weekly. “And when it’s safe to do so, we look forward to sharing that with visitors again, in this particular case with Australians.”
Check out the video, created by advertising agency Special Group New Zealand, below:
The launch of Pure Promise also comes in the midst of discussions of a potential travel partnership between Australia and New Zealand, in the form of an as yet sidelined trans-Tasman ‘bubble’.
For both nations, such a partnership would be lucrative.
Australia represents New Zealand’s biggest international tourism market, with 1.49 million arrivals in the year ending March 2020 (forecast to have contributed NZ$2.64 billion in total spend).
Likewise, New Zealand represents Australia’s second-biggest tourism market behind China.
But while the Australian federal government has not outlined a timeline for it – although Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to think it could kick off before all state borders open – Waddel believes the travel bubble concept carries with it “a lot of hope”.
“It’s a good indication of the citizens of both New Zealand and Australia working to get ahead of a challenge that COVID-19 has created,” he told Travel Weekly.
“The trans-Tasman bubble represents an opportunity for further normality coming back to life, and an opportunity to travel between New Zealand and Australia.”
It comes in the wake of an ongoing state and territory border dispute, led by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, which on Tuesday saw Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham suggest Queensland was “holding out” opening its borders because of a false reading of the rest of the country.
Waddel is of the view that Australia’s domestic borders will open before the trans-Tasman bubble can take effect, echoing the perspective of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“There’s a close bond between our two countries – whether that be in rivalry from a sporting perspective through to support of each other economically, and friends and family travelling between the two,” he said.
“So, it [the trans-Tasman bubble] represents a lot of hope and a lot of progress in both countries.
“The first step for both countries is to ignite domestic travel, and it’s interesting to see that both Tourism Australia and Tourism New Zealand have an extended remit to support that and generate travel domestically.
“But, it also is a logical step for both countries to open borders between the two countries, and the Pacific Islands, in the future as well.”
Waddel believes the reasons for travelling to New Zealand will stand the test of time, and that Australians will continue to dream about travel for “their own personal, professional or spiritual transformation and growth”.
This ability to bring these aspects to life, he said, makes travel unique.
“The range of experiences that New Zealand has to offer is different to what is available in Australia. But ultimately, we see the two nations connecting again, rising together as one.”
Tourism New Zealand’s international campaign follows a domestic one launched last week off the back of eased domestic travel restrictions in the country.
According to the national tourism authority, domestic travel represents 60 per cent of New Zealand’s total tourism market, with 45 million domestic trips recorded for the year to March 2020, before COVID-19 restrictions took effect in the country.