Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mother-in-law coming to visit?

The tragedy of owning a motel means that it is difficult to sell the notion that the in-laws should stay in alternative accommodation when they visit.

However, we like the marketing idea of treating friends and family by putting them up in commercial accommodation.

Tourism promotion 101 is to encourage local communities to invite friends and family to stay with them. Often this foundation of tourism promotion is overlooked by tourism bodies that would prefer to chase the glamor of overseas marketing.

It's good to see that Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince values domestic tourism, however we believe that motels should also be promoted alongside hotels as accommodation for the "visiting friends and family" market

Of interest to the accommodation industry is the high proportion of guest nights that are spent in private households. This should be pointed out to lazy local councils that simply target commercial accommodation operators to recover assumed use of public goods by tourists.

24 February 2009
Press Release: Tourism New Zealand

Mother-in-law coming to visit? Treat her to a night in a hotel

If you’re groaning at the thought of the in-laws next visit you could show your support for Christchurch & Canterbury's tourism industry by organising them alternative accommodation for a night or two.

It could win you brownies points with your mother-in-law and it would be good for the local economy.

Tourism New Zealand’s latest national Regional Visitor Monitor (RVM) provides an interesting insight into the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market and its importance to the tourism industry.

Around 22% (compared with a national benchmark of 18%) of visitors to Christchurch & Canterbury say the main reason for visiting is to catch up with friends and family. While around 67% of those visitors will stay in private homes, around a third pay for commercial accommodation.

They tend to stay for longer, on average, than visitors travelling on holiday. They are also more likely to take part in some activities/attractions than their holiday counterparts (including visiting natural attractions, attending concerts/events/shows, and participating in wine/food experiences such as wine trails, cooking classes and farmers’ markets).

"Visiting friends and family are a very important market for us," says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince. "There is a common misperception that this market isn't that important because they don’t tend to spend as much as other visitors to the region but this report dispels that myth.

"Our residents are our best ambassadors. We need to encourage them to get their friends and family to come here for a visit and to take them out to as many of our attractions as possible. That's partly why we launched the Come Out and Play promotion last year; we wanted to remind the people who live and work here just how much their region has to offer, not only to them, but also to their friends and family," Ms Prince says.

With the decision to visit friends and family often less affected by changing economic conditions than other types of holidays, it could be an important market for the region over the coming months.

"It’s lovely that people can open their homes to family but it’s also nice to treat them to a night or two at a hotel. It adds to the holiday experience," Ms Prince says.

"We really want to see people really encouraging their friends and family here and doing their bit to promote the region as a holiday destination. Christchurch’s I-SITE visitor centre is geared for assisting and advising not only visitors, but also locals who want to be good hosts and impress their friends and family," Ms Prince says.

Source: Click HERE

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