HUGE snowfalls across New Zealand and an offline marketing blitz have driven record traffic and bookings for www.skidealsnz.com.
The website is putting on three more staff to cope with demand, with a metre of snow already on the ground in major New Zealand resorts and further falls forecast.
“It’s all going really, really well,” said Chelsea Halliwell from Christchurch International Airport.
She said the site was launched “because we believed there was an untapped market for skiers and snowboarders looking online for New Zealand snow product.”
www.skidealsnz.com offers air, hotels, car, packages, lift tickets, hostels and copious background on the New Zealand’s snow scene.
More than 90% of site visits are coming from Australia – reflecting a comprehensive newspaper, pay television, search engine and digital advertising campaign through autumn.
Hitwise figures show major spikes following the TV activity, with search engines Google referring by far and away referring the most online traffic.
The most popular search terms are ‘ski new zealand’, ‘virgin blue’, ‘ski nz’ and ‘Queenstown’ and ‘New Zealand ski holidays’.
A marketing partnership with ninemsn is also proving fruitful, as are relationships with carriers Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue.
“There’s been a 140% increase in traffic over last year, we’re getting two to three thousand visitors every day,” Ms Halliwell said.
“We’ve gone for a ‘real call to action’ approach and our target market is the 25 to 40 age group.”
This is reflected in initiatives such as co-sponsorship of next week’s Queenstown Winter Festival with Pacific Blue.
Ms Halliwell said the ready availability of cheap fares to Christchurch, where both Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue have bases, has also been a major factor.
She said it allowed www.skidealsnz.com to package special offers such as a ‘Ski Free Deal’ with Pacific Blue.