Over half the Australian tourism industry rates New Zealand its fiercest competitor, with the most successful marketing campaign in the past 12 months, according to the Tourism Futures Roy Morgan industry survey.

Up to 55% of survey respondents ranked the ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign as the best in the world excluding Australia, well clear of Canada (7%), India (5%), UK/England (3%) and South Africa (3%).

The Tourism Futures conference held in Brisbane revealed the final results of its industry survey, which also revealed that a third of the Australian industry is keen to co-operatively market with New Zealand.

“The Australian industry acknowledges New Zealand’s marketing supremacy in this survey, which highlights the opportunity we have. Not everyone has the ‘best in the world’ sitting right next door,” said Tony Charters, Tourism Futures convenor.

“The survey also points to a mood for co-operation, with a realization that it may not be in our best interests to go head-to-head with New Zealand when vying for international visitors. Despite our sporting rivalries, perhaps we have a lot to learn from New Zealand, and a lot to gain from working more closely together.”

Australia and New Zealand could potentially present as a united destination, under a strategic alliance including marketing, quality standards, training standards and a relaxation of border controls, similar to the 10 ASEAN countries in South East Asia.

“We don’t do fjords and glaciers, they don’t do deserts or tropical experiences – Australian and New Zealand are complimentary. And when you’re talking to markets in the northern hemisphere, asking them to take an expensive, long-haul flight you’ve got to make the offer irresistible.”