New Caledonia: Holiday travel after COVID

The Business Problem

After the tourism industry was ‘put on hold’ for over two years, New Caledonia reopened to tourism in early 2022 and wanted to understand how best to target individual segments to attract them back to the island both in the short term and looking further ahead. New Caledonia Tourism was keen to understand key considerations when selecting island holiday destinations and how New Caledonia and other destinations deliver on each of these.


Research Objectives

Insights Exchange was engaged by New Caledonia Tourism to help explore current consumer sentiment towards travel; identify the consumer segments that will help drive visitation to New Caledonia and provide guidance on key messaging that will connect with future travellers in order to deliver success.

The Insights Exchange Approach

Qualitative research using a dual approach of two online communities and in-depth interviews was initially conducted to clearly define the needs, drivers, motivations and fears when considering island holiday destinations. This stage also explored the various destinations perceived positioning in the market, as well as potential areas for future communications.

These elements created key attributes that were then used in a robust quantitative survey to define the customer segments as well as identify key selling points for New Caledonia.




The research outcome included: 

  • Key consumer segments of most value for New Caledonia Tourism to target in future communications unlocking key drivers & triggers, functional and emotional needs as well as their media profile to enable effective and efficient targeting efforts and spend
  • Recommendations on the current marketing campaign to help direct further development & optimisation in order to drive engagement, relevance and cut-through
  • Key guidelines were provided for the overall brand messaging as well as key differences and tailoring required for each of the segments
  • Post-Covid lockdown desire to travel (within Australia/New Zealand and overseas)
  • Comparisons between New Caledonia and other key island destination competitors in the market

“We conducted some brand tracking some years back on awareness and consideration for travellers to New Caledonia but then COVID hit and the whole tourism industry was hugely affected. Given the uncertainty in the market after the pause of travelling the past years, we needed an updated understanding of the travel market, the drivers to destination of choice and a more detailed understanding of New Caledonia’s customer base and future customer opportunities. Through their online community we were able to tap into Australian and New Zealand audiences and gain a deeper understanding of how people were feeling about travelling in general but also what island destinations appealed to them and why and what they were looking for in an island holiday. Insights Exchange was able to break down our different consumer segments and target customers to help develop marketing that is anchored on consumer needs and the strongest selling points. Their insights also showed us what was currently working in our marketing initiatives and what wasn’t quite on point. Working with them was always a pleasure - great communications and we felt the expertise of their researchers really gave us confidence that we were working with a fantastic team."

Caroline Brunel – Australian Representative – New Caledonia Tourism