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Tourism New Zealand and STA Travel (STA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth a combined NZ$1.2 million annually, in a multi-year partnership to target the influential long-haul youth travel sector in the UK, Continental Europe and North America.

The MOU was announced today by Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler and John Constable, Chief Executive Officer, STA Travel Group.

It provides guidelines for co-operative marketing and trade engagement programmes with matched funding from both organisations.

Kevin says the MOU formalises an existing, long working relationship between the two organisations.

“As the world’s largest youth travel organisation offering student and youth exclusive discount pricing, STA is already a key partner in our work to target youth travellers in our key long-haul western markets.

“When combined, these markets contribute over a third of total youth arrivals each year.

“This agreement will considerably strengthen the effectiveness and reach of our activity by providing Tourism New Zealand with access to STA’s marketing assets and wealth of experience in marketing to the youth sector,” he says.

Under the MOU, the organisations will collaborate to jointly promote youth tourism to New Zealand across marketing, online, trade and PR activity.

John says; “The agreement formalises the strong relationship we have with Tourism New Zealand in these markets. We look forward to increasing the work we have underway to promote New Zealand to the youth traveller across our marketing activity as well as increasing our knowledge to enable us to better sell the destination to this sector.”

Kevin says; “Because they specialise in affordable and flexible airfares, accommodation, travel packages and products, STA is a natural partner as we work to convert the youth sectors’ interest in travelling to New Zealand into a ticket to come here and experience it first-hand.”

“However, to successfully engage with the sector goes beyond just providing affordable travel options as part of an integrated annual marketing plan.

“Here, the agreement will also provide Tourism New Zealand and the New Zealand industry access to train and motivate STA staff with workshops and famils – increasing their knowledge and ability to effectively sell destination New Zealand.”

As well as tactical marketing campaigns, activity will also be rolled out across social and online channels, with STA Travel launching its New Zealand social hub in each market which will become the basis of inspiring youth travellers.

The announcement comes on the back of recent activity with STA Travel in the long-haul markets, with Tourism New Zealand’s largest multi-partner youth campaign, Epic Experiences, run in March.