4 Jun 2020

Fiordland re-directs focus to domestic market

7:49 pm on 4 June 2020

Fiordland's regional tourism organisation is repositioning itself to attract more New Zealanders to visit.

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New Zealanders looking for real world experiences in their own backyard may be drawn to Fiordland's rainforest. Photo: Supplied / Will Patino

Destination Fiordland said it aimed to capitalise on New Zealanders' connection to nature, using the township of Te Anau as a "base camp".

Manager Madeleine Peacock said they wanted to turn the area into a destination in its own right, rather than a place for traditionally short-term visits.

She said Fiordland had always ranked highly on the international visitor circuit, but there was untapped potential in the domestic market.

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A takahē in all its glory could be a drawcard for local tourists. Photo: Supplied / Douglas Thorne

Research showed that New Zealanders were looking for real world experiences in their backyard, she said.

"Destination Fiordland has always been justifiably proud of its operators and attractions in the lakeside townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, and the raw majesty of Fiordland National Park's glacier-carved fiords and rugged mountains."

Peacock said that with many visitors starting and finishing their Fiordland adventures in Queenstown, making a quick pit-stop in Te Anau, the tourism organisation embarked on a brand refresh in October last year.

The new brand Fiordland - Beyond Belief was revealed to operators this week, setting out to immediately target domestic travellers, while broadening the long-held view from international travellers there was more to the area than just Milford Sound.

Milford Sound.

Milford Sound may have overshadowed other attractions in the region, Destination Fiordland says. Photo: Unsplash / Peter Hammer

Peacock said the launch came at a challenging time, and the organisation "clearly had a job to do at home", but there was untapped potential for domestic visitors.

"Our research has identified Kiwis' desire to connect with nature, looking for real world experiences in their backyard, connecting with natural environments and ensuring those environments will be protected for generations to come.

"Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, the Great Walks and Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri have to an extent been hiding in the shadow of Milford Sound, however these areas are equally as impressive."

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