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Thursday, April 30

TOURISM RECORDING STUDIO PARKS UP

After travelling close to 9,500 kilometres and visiting 55 towns and cities, Tourism New Zealand’s groundbreaking mobile recording studio ends its four month road trip in Auckland on April 30 (Thursday).

The mobile recording studio has been traveling around New Zealand, heading to Kaitaia in the far north and down to Bluff in the South, recording short video diaries from international visitors.

The video diaries – the ultimate in word-of-mouth advertising - are then edited and posted on YouTube by Tourism New Zealand within minutes.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said the project had been a further step into using social marketing and that it had been a successful project.

“We believe this is a world-first for a tourism organisation, a start-to-finish project to film, edit and publish visitors’ thoughts about New Zealand direct to the Internet and other potential travellers,” Mr Hickton said.

Around 1,500 video diaries have been recorded and viewed by over 110,000 people – far more views than were anticipated. Video diaries have been recorded by visitors from 42 countries including Australia, the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, Spain and South America. Some videos have been viewed thousands of times.

The initiative has also been highlighted by the UK’s Sunday Times (circulation 1.3 million) as one of the ‘Ten Most Ingenious Offers’ from the travel industry during the recession.

“With visitor numbers falling from our major markets, Tourism New Zealand has to be more creative in the way it reaches potential travellers and this studio has been a good example of how to use new media and social marketing to do that,” Mr Hickton said. “

"Word-of-mouth recommendation is one of the greatest motivators when people are choosing a holiday. The “Have Your Say” studio has been a great way to get our message out there in a cost-effective way,” he added.

Tourism New Zealand has worked closely with regional tourism organisations as the mobile studio made its way around the country. Tourism Auckland chief executive, Graeme Osborne, said he’s delighted the studio would make its final stop in New Zealand’s largest city.

“With Auckland welcoming 70 per cent of international arrivals to New Zealand, it makes perfect sense for the city to be both the first and final stop for the studio,” he said. “

We are totally supportive of Tourism New Zealand using this bold and innovative application of new technology.”

To view video ‘raves’ go to http://nz.youtube.com/PureNZHaveYourSay

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