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Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival 2020 dates announced

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Destination Queenstown CEO, Graham Budd, said he is delighted with the positive impact the 2019 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival has had on the community and local businesses, and the event is in a strong position for the future as he announced the dates for the 2020 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival.

"It was a fitting event to mark the Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival’s 45th anniversary, and to celebrate this iconic Queenstown event, which is by Queenstown, for Queenstown, showcasing Queenstown.

"It’s been four days of fun, madcap antics and amazing live entertainment across Queenstown and our family of sponsors and our team are already starting work on planning next year’s event which will be held from 18-21 June 2020."

Sponsors, hoteliers and business owners reported a busy time across the weekend and welcomed the Festival’s place on Queenstown’s community calendar and its impact on a traditionally quiet time for local businesses at the start of the winter season.

"It’s great to sponsor an event that brings our community together to have fun, music, food and of course the awesome Real Journeys Friday Night Fireworks," said Wayfare Chief Executive Richard Lauder. Wayfare companies Real Journeys, Cardona Alpine Resort and Go Orange are significant Festival sponsors.

"It’s been a huge effort - staff came up from Te Anau to be part of it and teams from Real Journeys, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Go Orange were busy helping make it a success," said Mr Lauder.

"Thanks to all the other volunteers too who gave up their time in the spirit of Winter Festival - now let’s get on with the ski season," said Mr Lauder.

Hotelier Jim Moore, General Manager of Novotel Queenstown said that "the action-packed festival creates a real drive for visitors to come to be part of the event, bringing life to town and a buzz of excitement for visitors and locals alike."

"This year’s fireworks did not seem to ever end, the stage events and the hospitality races were fun and appreciated by many, and, as always, I personally enjoyed going back to Studio54 for the Skycity Ball," said Mr Moore.

"Winter Festival heralds the start of winter for Queenstown and many of the local hotels are happy to support the event by funding the accommodation requirements to be able to host the many entertainers and visitors," said Mr Moore.

Anna Edie, General Manager of the Crowne Plaza hotel was positive about the economic impact of the event on visitation to the town.

"Bookings over the winter festival period are ahead of the same time last year, and our partnerships with Winter Festival and (festival sponsor) Macpac are both key contributors to that," said Ms. Edie.

Early reports estimate online and social media coverage was up on 2018. Provisional reporting indicates a reach of 119million from 1 April - 26 June 2019, without all channels and coverage accounted for (89million 1 April - 31 July 2018) and advertising value equivalence of $1.7m ($1.2m in 2018).

This reporting does not include post Festival coverage to come in June and July with posts by social media influencers Pia Muehlenbeck (2million Instagram followers), Jordan Watson known as How to Dad (1.2million Instagram followers), and programming on BravoTV (eight repeats of The Dish to play to an estimated audience of 102,000 plus online distribution).

Nor does it include audience statistics for broadcast TV and radio coverage such as TV3’s 7Days live filming (broadcast on 21 June), TVNZ and TV3 news coverage across nightly 6pm bulletins, and live crosses into TVNZ Breakfast and TV3’s the AM Show nor any of the radio coverage by MediaWorks’ More FM stations.

According to market intelligence analysts Qrious, in 2018 the Festival welcomed 44,800-1 unique visitors over four days with more than 13,000 estimated to have attended the Real Journeys Friday Fireworks. This brought a direct economic impact of more than $4.4million to Queenstown over the four days of the Festival. 2019 reporting on visitors, expenditure, media reach and advertising value equivalence will be available in July.

The Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival is executed by a team of one that grows to 20 by the week of Festival plus 80 volunteers as well as contractors, suppliers, sponsors and their teams. Rae Baker was recruited to direct the 2018 festival, to bed in format and creative changes and new sponsor relationships and stayed on for the 2019 festival. The New Zealand Events Association recognized the 2018 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival in March 2019 at their annual awards as a finalist in the 2018 Best Regional Event and New Zealand’s Favourite Event categories. Rae Baker was also a finalist in the 2018 Best Event Sponsorship Professional category.

"I’ve had a blast working with some amazing people and shaping the festival into a celebration that has true longevity," said Ms. Baker.

"My job as a change catalyst is executed now and it’s time for me to pass the Winter Fest baton on. I’ll still be around a while yet, with recruitment starting later in the year, working with our incredible family of sponsors and partners who ensure we can throw such a brilliant celebration for our community and visitors," said Ms. Baker.

"Rae has made a significant contribution to Festival’s execution and culture, and very importantly, to the Queenstown community during her two years leading Festival. We wish her the very best and thank her for injecting her vision, expertise and passion into our very special event," said Destination Queenstown CEO, Graham Budd.

A survey for Festival goers to have their say about this year’s Festival and suggestions for the 2020 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/35XZM2G

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