Auckland Airport announces new $100k tourism competition

18 May 2015

The competition will see a total fund of $100k awarded to four businesses showing innovation in growing New Zealand tourism across the seasons.

Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the competition has been developed to help drive tourism growth from Asian markets during New Zealand’s off peak season of May to September.

“The winners of the competition will receive $25,000 each to be used for the development of a seasonally-themed tourism experience for visitors from an Asian market of their choice,” says Mr Carter. “We want to inspire businesses to think innovatively about creating experiences that will attract Free Independent Travellers (FITs) in the traditional off-peak season.”

“Recently, in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, we conducted research in China about the emerging FIT market. One of the key findings highlighted the extensive use of the internet and social media by FIT visitors to research, plan and share their travel experiences,” continues Mr Carter.

“The research also emphasised that FIT visitors are not passive tourists, but rather that they want to experience New Zealand by enjoying easily accessible activities that involve their active participation.”

“This market research has identified a need for new itineraries to be developed that are tailored for the FIT visitor and this competition has been developed to help achieve this. We want applicants to think creatively about experiences that involve visitors actively doing, tasting, feeling, seeing and sharing New Zealand experiences, as well as using digital strategies for their marketing.”

The winners will receive funding for the development of customised experiences, including research and product marketing collateral, which will result in a seasonal tourism offering.

Auckland Airport will be looking for operators that present quality business plans which will deliver innovative, uniquely New Zealand experiences accessible from Auckland and which demonstrate an ability to drive tourism growth from the targeted market across the seasons.

The competition is open to any New Zealand tourism operators, Regional Tourism Organisations or businesses with the ability to deliver on the proposed business plan and programme.

Applications close on June 30 2015 at 5.00pm. For more information or to apply, please visit


Applicants – for further information, please contact:

Mark Frood
+64 9 255 9254
+64 27 704 8611

Media - for further information, please contact:

Kate Thompson
+64 21 385 446