Amid New Zealand’s reopening of its borders with certain travel requirements, Tourism New Zealand has launched a campaign centered on the natural and cultural splendors of the country that is known in the Māori language as Aotearoa.
The new campaign, titled “If You Seek,” wants international visitors to not only be mindful of but also embracing distinct aspects of Māori values and traditions.
“If You Seek” includes an emphasis on the value of the Māori words, manaakitanga (a deep expression of hospitality and reciprocal understanding and connection) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship and care for the environment).
“Tourism New Zealand is committed to authentically representing New Zealand’s unique culture – the campaign is a reflection of this,” said René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive.
As part of the new “If You Seek” campaign, which is the first for the brand in two years, Tourism New Zealand has curated itineraries in mind for those curious enough to look deeper and go a little further to grow as people and in their worldview.
In referring to American travelers, de Monchy stated that the tourism board finds that they “are craving something different that New Zealand can offer: more immersive and intentional experiences. With borders fully opened, ‘If You Seek’ invites the curious to unleash the seeker within, while traveling through New Zealand unearthing a sense of discovery and long-term personal growth.”
Tourism New Zealand has released some snippets of the campaign online. They involve short videos that can be seen on the tourism board’s YouTube channel. They feature locations extend to Tāne Mahuta and Hell’s Gate in New Zealand’s North Island; Hooker Valley near Aoraki/Mt Cook, which is highest mountain in New Zealand; and the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail in the country’s Nelson/Tasman region.
With their smartphones, visitors to Tourism New Zealand’s website also can learn from If You Seek’s mini experiences to see how the campaign came to fruition.
The tourism board’s mini-itineraries are comprised of travel-minded themes with public attractions and activities fitting their descriptions. They include “Personal Growth and Challenge,” with one sample activity being ascending the world’s highest waterfall cable climb in Wanaka; “Peace and Relaxation,” with a recommended trip to Aoraki Dark Sky Reserve on New Zealand’s South Island; and “Natural Phenomenon,” which includes Hell’s Gate, a geothermal area whose muddy rich waters are valued for their healing properties.
“We are encouraging manuhiri (visitors) to immerse themselves in New Zealand’s unique culture, people and natural environment and see, feel, hear, touch and smell the magic of this country,” said de Monchy. “We want to reward those curious enough to look a little deeper and go a little further to discover more authentic, meaningful connections.”
As with other tourism related businesses, the tourism board is involved with the Tiaki Promise, a commitment to New Zealand’s future by helping to protect its environment, culture, and people.
“It also encapsulates the country’s goals for mindful and sustainable tourism. New Zealand is precious, and everyone who lives, and travels here has a responsibility to look after it,” explained de Monchy.
de Monchy added that by following the Tiaki Promise, “visitors are making a commitment to New Zealand to act as a guardian, protecting and preserving this beautiful place.”
Travel Is Taking Off Again
Developments in flights to and from New Zealand are also on the up. Air New Zealand’s new JFK-AKL direct route, which will fly nonstop from this major NYC airport to Auckland. It is scheduled to launch on September 17, 2022.
American Airlines will also welcome a direct flight route from Dallas Fort Worth to Auckland. It will launch on October 29, 2022.
Invivo Air, an airline launched by New Zealand beverage company Invivo & Co., will begin operations this year, but the first flight is for New Zealanders only.
While entry requirements can change, travelers from the United States are required to obtain a visa to visit for tourism or business reasons.
Travelers not only have to be fully vaccinated, and show valid proof, but they are required to take two COVID-19 rapid antigen tests on arrival. The first test must be taken on the day of or the first day after their arrival, and the second test must be taken on day five or six after arrival. Travelers will be provided with a pack of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests with instructions upon arrival.
Here’s one more thing: all travelers must complete the New Zealand Traveler Declaration before departure to New Zealand. They can start this form 28 days prior to departure.