A new marketplace for Kiwis to find and book custom New Zealand holidays has just launched. Love Your NZ, was designed and built by Wellington based tour operator software company, Tourwriter, as a way to combat the harsh impact of COVID-19 on New Zealand’s inbound tour operators. Pairing passionate local travellers with experienced New Zealand travel specialists, Love Your NZ is a free marketing platform that assists those Tourwriter customers specialising in inbound travel, to pivot towards New Zealand’s growing domestic travel market. Once signed up, tour operators can showcase their best itineraries on the loveyournz.com website for New Zealand travellers to find, enquire and ultimately book.
For years, inbound tour operators have honed their craft, designing and selling experiences to New Zealand’s high-end international visitors. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and subsequent border closures have decimated business for these inbound tour operators. Although the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Grants Programme has injected more than $300 million into supporting New Zealand tourism businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, very little of this support has been directed to the struggling inbound tour operators. Tourism Export Council New Zealand Chief Executive, Lynda Keene, wrote, “It was hugely frustrating to be informed by officials at the last minute that there will be no grant funding made available for inbound tour operators. The decision to offer loans will not help our members, as they have no income coming in for 18 months.”
Long time supporters of the inbound tour operator community, Wellington’s Tourwriter sees loveyournz.com as an opportunity for these operators to promote and sell their once-in-a-lifetime itineraries to Kiwi travellers. “COVID-19 has required many businesses to make quick, decisive changes and we felt that launching a free marketplace for New Zealanders and travel specialists to connect on was just one way we could contribute to our beloved tourism industry,” explained Tourwriter Co-CEO Pierre Malou.
“Loveyournz.com is all about making those hidden gems of Aotearoa, usually booked by international visitors, accessible to Kiwi travellers who are wanting to scratch their travel itch and splash out on a tailored local experience,” explained Malou. “We know it won’t replace the business inbound operators would have gotten in a typical year, but generating a bit of interest in the domestic market could be the difference between surviving or closing down for many of these companies,” finished Malou.
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