Tak Mutu, MDA Experiences Tak Mutu, MDA Experiences

Prices: don't 'race to bottom’

New Zealand tourism operators have been advised to hold their prices when the hoped for domestic tourism ‘surge’ begins during Alert Level 1.

Speaking at a Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) webinar, Tak Mutu from Rotorua luxury tour operator, MDA Experiences said there is ‘lots of sound’ about New Zealand activities being too expensive.

‘Sure, look at your pricing but be realistic about the people who complain about the cost of tourism product,’ advises Mutu. ‘Will that be the business that actually converts?’

He warned against ‘racing to the bottom’ with prices. ‘It’s not just your activity you’ll be discounting, you’ll be pushing everyone else to do that.’

With mountain biking a big part of MDA’s business, Mutu has been talking to bike suppliers about sales during the lock down period – they’ve matched or even bettered sales compared to this time last year.

‘I am predicting a boom in cycling, and travelling for cycling,’ he says.

TIA boss Chris Roberts says NZ cycle trails present a huge opportunity. ‘The majority of our users are domestic anyway.’

But getting New Zealanders excited about paying for Kiwi product will be a challenge, especially with the recession impacting consumer sentiment and ability to spend.

‘How do we get New Zealanders to do overnight cycle rides and stay in accommodation and spend money on activities?’ asks newly appointed general manager domestic at Tourism NZ, Bjoern Spreitzer.

TNZ’s domestic campaign will focus on four consumer segments – family holidays, passion points (food, wine, cycling etc), short breaks and touring – and

is pinning its hopes on a chunk of the $9.3b Kiwis spend on overseas travel being spent onshore.

Spreitzer says the domestic campaign will be ready for Level 1 and people will be ready to get out then.



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