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ITB Berlin News 2020 - #4

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I REGION I OCEANIA

I REGION I OCEANIA IAustralasiaand environs...Australia highlights key assetsas Oceania sees slow tourismgrowth in 2019According to UNWTO figures released in January,growth in Oceania (+3%) was rather slow, with modestperformance by larger destinations Australia andNew Zealand, partly due to the softening of Chinesevisitors. The slowdown in Chinese tourism to Australiaoccurred despite a weaker Australian dollar which hasturned the destination cheaper. By contrast, smallerisland destinations Guam, French Polynesia and Samoarecorded solid growth.At the end of 2019, and well into2020, Australia was hard hitby bushfires – the worst in thenation’s history.Phillipa Harrison, ManagingDirector, Tourism Australia, in anofficial statement, said, “It is moreimportant than ever that we rallyaround our communities and thetourism sector who may havebeen impacted (eds: by the fires).”Above and beyond the sad newsof the fires, the distinct anddefining character of Australiaand of Australians was celebratedin a new campaign unveiled byTourism Australia on 30 October2019, inviting the world DownUnder to experience first-hand theAustralian way of life.It’s a new three-year globalcampaign, entitled “Come Liveour Philausophy”, elevating someof Australia’s greatest assets- its people and personality.A deliberately Australian playon words, Philausophy aimsWE KNOW FROMOUR RESEARCHTHAT 70% OFINTERNATIONALTRAVELLERSBELIEVE THATAUSTRALIANSHAVE ADIFFERENTPERSPECTIVE ONLIFEto capture the philosophy ofAustralians and their informalapproach to living, which researchshows is highly appealing amongstvisitors.Federal Tourism Minister SimonBirmingham said TourismAustralia’s global campaignstrategy is part of an AU millionAustralia's iconic animal, the kangaroo taking in the sunset in Queenslandinvestment that will be rolled outin 15 key tourism markets over thenext three years to attract moreinternational tourists Down Under.A suite of new creative assetshas been developed forthe Philausophy campaign,including over 5,000 new imagescaptured across every state andterritory, a series of industryvideos, bespoke social content,a refresh of australia.com andAustralia.cn, and a book featuringwell-known Aussie icons whowill have provided their ownpersonal perspectives andexperiences that help explainour unique Australian way oflife. Tourism Australia ManagingDirector Phillipa Harrison saidthat Philausophy was all aboutelevating one of Australia’sgreatest assets and somethingthat we know people from aroundthe world will travel to experiencefirst-hand - its people.“We know from our research that70% of international travellersbelieve that Australians havea different perspective on life;79% believe that the Australianpeople are an important part ofthe Australian lifestyle; and 82%would like to travel to Australiato experience our lifestyle,” MsHarrison saidVANUATUWORKS ONATTRACTINGMORE TOURISTSTO OUTERISLANDSWith over 18% of GDP and 14% ofemployment gained directly fromtourism, Vanuatu has seen moretourists travelling by air to its outerislands in recent years. Availabledata shows that annual internationalarrivals who have travelled to outerislands have grown in the past fewyears.Historically, tourism in Vanuatuhas been focused on the “rest andrelaxation” market – those whostay in larger hotels or resorts andlie by the pool sipping cocktails.However, a 2016 InternationalVisitors’ Survey suggested thatthere was an opportunity to increasegrowth in niche markets such as softadventure, eco-tourism and culturalexperiences, run by smaller localoperators, based mainly in villagesand towns in the outer islands.According to the most recentstatistics, 82% of those visitingVanuatu claimed they would returnto the destination, claiming to besatisfied with environment, activities,attractions, and the local peopleThe Island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific© PhilliP Capper36 • ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH 2020www.itb-berlin-news.com

I REGION I OCEANIA I© Jason Blair / KatabaticThe natural environment on the West Coast’s new Great Walk is an incredible setting22%OF ALL VISITORSCITE WALKINGAND HIKINGAS A FACTORINFLUENCINGCONSIDERATIONOF NEW ZEALANDNew Zealand opensPaparoa Track: a newinternational drawcardThe first purpose built dual walking and mountain bike track onthe Great Walk network, the Paparoa Track is now open, stirring agreat deal of excitement on New Zealand’s West Coast.The small towns that make up the regionare now ready to welcome visitors fromall over the world, as the track is setto become one of the region’s biggestdrawcard for New Zealanders andoverseas visitors.Locals, or “Coasters” as they arecolloquially known, are famous for theirhospitality and extremely passionateabout their home and the new track isof significant meaning to everyone fromthe area.The three-day, 55km walk (or twodaybike ride) explores some of themost rugged, diverse and untouchedenvironments in the country. The tenthGreat Walk and first to be constructedin 25 years will take in stone cliffs, beechforest and glades of subtropical nikaupalms at one end, while climbing toa unique alpine setting with incredibleviews out to the Tasman Sea.The winding coastal road fromGreymouth to Punakaiki is the perfectexample of the untamed West Coastwilderness.Signage can be found along the wayemblazoned with local hapu (subtribe)Ngati Waewae’s designs. RauhineCoakley, iwi representative on trackinterpretation, says eventually there willbe carved gateways at both ends and aPou (pole) whenua erected at one of thehighest points of the track: “Given thatthe track is in a national park, there wasa lot of planning and prescription aroundthe environmental impact. I don’t thinkany other track in the country has hadsuch a high focus on minimising impactand then remediating around the track.This environmental focus is now rubbingoff on other trail projects around thecountry.”The Paparoa Track is bound to makehikers around world bucket lists. Withan eager community waiting to welcomevisitors and an environment that is oneof New Zealand’s most beautiful but alsountouched, the reward will be great forthose that take up the challengeKEY STATISTICSNew Zealand's walking and hiking offering includes threelarge world heritage sites - Tongariro National Park, TeWahipounamu and the Subantarctic Islands - and tenGreat Walks across the North and South Islands, as well asmany one-day options.© Neil SilverwoodAs at September 2019 80% of all visitors toNew Zealand said they Walked, Hiked, Trekked orTramped while they were here.22% of all visitors cite walking and hiking as a factorinfluencing consideration of New Zealand3% completed a Great Walk, 23% did a walk overthree hours and 58% completed a walk between 30minutes and 3 hours.Between 2012 and 2019 there has been a 38%increase in people using the Great Walk network.Between 2012 and 2019 there has been a 20%increase in international visitors using the GreatWalk network.The Department of Conservation (DoC) isNew Zealand's largest tourism provider.The Ces Clark Hut on the Parapoa track - seen from aboveITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH 2020 • 37

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