Queenstown big mountain skier Pete Oswald has a blast in fresh, deep powder snow up The Remarkables yesterday – so why’s an Aussie tourism boss slagging our ski fields?
The boss of Queenstown’s ski fields is taking pot-shots from a rival snow marketer in Australia as a compliment.
Snow Australia boss Colin Hackworth is trying to keep Aussie skiers and riders at home mountains instead of heading across the ditch to Southern Lakes ski fields.
Just before this week’s weather bomb which made roads treacherous and cancelled flights in Queenstown, Hackworth told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper last weekend that New Zealand roads are “death-defying”, flights are often interrupted due to bad weather and punters can’t stay in accommodation on the snow.
Hackworth isn’t intending to “spitefully have a crack at NZ” but to “bring Australia to front of mind” for snow holidays, the paper says.
Hackworth’s recently-formed organisation is a direct copy of the South Island’s Ski Tourism Marketing Network (Ski TMN) – a collective group of ski resorts and marketing bodies.
NZSki boss James Coddington says he views Hackworth’s comments as a compliment.
“For him to come out with derogatory comments about NZ ski fields shows that he’s concerned about the increasing numbers of Australian skiers and snowboarders who are travelling to NZ to ski.”
NZSki plans on targeting Aussie snow lovers with an imminent fresh marketing campaign.
Destination Queenstown marketing boss Graham Budd says Snow Australia is “stepping it up in terms of taking us head-on”.
“Those words are quite extreme – I haven’t seen it at quite that level before,” he says.
“I certainly won’t be firing shots back. I think we are better to stay on the front foot.”
Instead, Ski TMN – of which DQ is a funding partner – will be directly targeting the consumer by promoting the massive amount of new snow from this week’s storm via a PR campaign.
Budd says Aussie slopes don’t have as much snow – and there’s so much to do in Queenstown off the mountain.
“I think our proposition is frankly more compelling for Australians”, Budd says.
Queenstown’s ski fields have had more than 60cm of new snow in this week’s cold blast.
Hackworth couldn’t be contacted for comment before deadline.