Major backing for Queenstown webisodes

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Tourism New Zealand is backing a Queenstown web series to attract a growing international youth market. 

Diary Days, brainchild of Nick Hyne, Ben Ryan and Heath Patterson, who created popular online series Diaries Downunder, aims to position Queenstown as an attractive place to live for working holiday visa candidates. 

The four-webisode series profiles visitors who’ve chosen to live in the resort – their daily life is captured in a high-quality, three-minute video shown on Tourism NZ’s YouTube channel. 

The first episode features Japan’s Kenji Fukushima, who works at @Thai restaurant, and loves snowboarding and fishing. The remaining three episodes are in production. 

Diaries Downunder, which focuses on snowboarding in winter and mountain biking in summer, has had the financial backing of Tourism NZ and Destination Queenstown for five years but Hyne says Diary Days really 
triggered interest with the national tourism marketing body. 

“Backpackers generally spend less per day compared to other visitors but because they stay longer they actually spend more than the average short-stay visitor,” he says. 

Tourism NZ marketing and communications boss Justin Watson says the concept is a natural fit with a national push to engage the global youth market via social media. 

“Since 2010, Tourism NZ has increased its activity to target the influential youth market,” he says. 

“Accounting for nearly 25 per cent of annual arrivals, the market represents significant growth opportunities to the NZ tourism industry. 

“The video diaries work to inspire others to come to NZ – showing them the range of people, jobs and lifestyles plus highlighting how easy and fun it is to come and work here.” 

DQ chief executive Graham Budd says both Diary Days and Diaries Downunder have huge potential. 

“It targets a significant niche audience that wasn’t being reached. Since the beginning they’ve shown terrific quality in content and production so it’s been really successful from our point of view,” Budd says. 

Pro snowboarder Hyne last year created a concept similar to Diaries Downunder called Japan Journals aimed at attracting snow-hungry Kiwis and Aussies to Japan. He leaves to shoot the second season of Japan Journals in the New Year.