On top of that, interest in New Zealand on that platform jumped 80 percent on the day Mafengwo posted the campaign. The company reported that users specifically searched for skydiving and country houses — both featured elements in Mafengwo’s campaign.
While the company’s ONER marketing plan is generating lots of travel interest in New Zealand, it’s unlikely to alter anyone’s Lunar New Year travel plans this year. That’s why the team of Mafengwo and New Zealand tourism feel they need to hold the interest of younger travelers — who’ve become known as fickle consumers — for a bit longer.
According to Feng Rao, Mafengwo’s travel research center head, the collaboration with ONER should be viewed as a way of planting seeds to grow user interest. “The travel stories of idols are more representative of the way young people travel,” said Feng, “and they also match Mafengwo’s brand image and user demographic.”
Although more Chinese outbound travelers prefer traveling to nearby Australia, New Zealand still attracts its share of tourists from China. The country welcomed 31,440 Chinese travelers in October 2018, an increase of 9.7 percent year-on-year to 451,344 over the 12 months ending on October 31, according to Tourism New Zealand. China was also the second-largest source market for New Zealand, with a hefty average length of stay during that 12-month period: 17.7 days.
This influencer campaign is a good test for Mafengwo — a company that gets overshadowed in the Chinese online travel market by bigger players Ctrip.com International and Alibaba’s Fliggy. The fast and strong response to the ONER campaign has forced it to look into more influencer collaborations that will keep attracting younger users to its platform in the future.