Amazing Race host enlisted to woo Aussies to New Zealand

In a bid to woo Australian visitors, TV's Amazing Race host and NZ native Phil Keoghan has signed on to be an ambassador of the region earlier this year.

In a bid to woo Australian visitors, TV’s Amazing Race host and NZ native Phil Keoghan has signed on to be an ambassador of the region earlier this year.

Helping Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism to hook the Australian market is multi Emmy Award winner and host of hit TV programme The Amazing Race, Phil Keoghan, who signed on earlier this year to promote his home region of Canterbury as a tourism ambassador.

Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism (CCT) has received $1 million in government funding so it can work with Tourism New Zealand in promoting the South Island to Australian visitors.

CCT successfully applied for the funding, which it will match dollar for dollar, after securing the support of the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch International Airport, three other South Island regional tourism organisations (RTOs), the major airlines and ski area operators for a new joint approach to marketing.

The region’s goal is to increase the number of Australian visitors by 30,000 in the coming year and to increase the number of nights they spend here.

“All of the organisations involved are excited about the potential gains. We’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets but we’re confident we can achieve them and in doing so provide a significant financial boost to our tourism industry, which is such a vital part of our economy,” says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince.

Since joint venture campaigns started in January 2010, the Canterbury region has recorded considerable growth in visitor numbers from Australia. Recent Tourism New Zealand research demonstrates there is significant awareness of Christchurch & Canterbury as a destination, with 17% registering interest in visiting the region in the future.

Hit TV show host Phil Koeghan of The Amazing Race has signed on as an ambassador to Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

US-based Keoghan is in Canterbury this week filming a series of TV commercials and short website films (webisodes) which Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism will use to entice more Australian visitors to our shores.

‘Phil’s Best Kept Secrets’ series of TV commercials and online stories will see Keoghan heading across Canterbury to some of his favourite spots like Aoraki Mt Cook, Tekapo, Mt Hutt, Kaikoura, Christchurch city, Banks Peninsula and Waipara, giving Australians a special insight into his home region. They show Keoghan cycling, skiing, fishing, enjoying great wine and food, and chatting to characters along the way.

The TV campaign will start in Australia in September for spring and continue for 2011 autumn and winter to entice Australian to come over to experience the different seasonal offerings.

“The Amazing Race has taken me all over the world to some amazing places but there still nothing like coming home to New Zealand, and, of course, Canterbury has a special place in my heart because this is where my folks live. Each time I visit here I am reminded just how special this place is and I’m very excited about sharing some of my home-grown knowledge of what Canterbury has to offer to our visitors,’’ says Keoghan.

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