We can do better in Latin America
Tourism New Zealand plans to open an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to serve as the base for its activities in the Latin American region.
Announcing the move at a Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC) lunch in Auckland recently, Prime Minister John Key said the new base will allow Tourism NZ to “quickly deepen its knowledge of, and influence on, the market”.
According to Tourism NZ research, over six million potential travellers in Brazil state a preference to visit New Zealand. In the year to May 2013, the 24,192 arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico together spent around $72 million in this country.
Key said that in order to make the most of opportunities in the region, New Zealand needs an in-market team running marketing campaigns, and building relationships with travel, trade and media.
Tourism NZ currently has 12 offices worldwide, including two in New Zealand. As part of its emerging markets strategy the agency also plans to open an office in Indonesia.
The PM, who joked that his role as Minister of Tourism gives him “a lot less stress” than his role as Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), said New Zealand should also beef up its profile in Latin America’s education market.
“It’s clear there’s demand for the high-quality secondary and tertiary education that New Zealand can offer young and ambitious Latin Americans,” he said.
Around 4500 people from Latin America currently study in New Zealand each year. The majority come from Brazil. Argentina, Chile and Colombia combined send around 1500 students annually.
Key described welcoming Latin American students to this part of the Pacific as an investment in the future.
He called for New Zealand exporters across all sectors to lift their game in the fast growing markets of Latin America. “It’s time to look much more closely at our Latin American neighbours,” he said “We can do a lot better.”
He reiterated the importance of the Latin American market, both as a destination in its own right and as a potential partner for combined exports to third markets such as Asia.
New Zealand’s total exports to Latin America were worth $1.36 billion in 2011.
Key’s recent speech underscored Trade Minister Tim Groser’s message to the LANZBC in June this year in which he drew parallels with New Zealand’s relationship with Asia which has developed rapidly from very small beginnings.
By Ruth Le Pla. Email [email protected]