Brand USA cause to celebrate

Brand USA had extra cause to celebrate in the lead up to Christmas, with the relatively young organisation’s existence being renewed by the United States Congress just a couple of weeks ago.

The destination is also recording strong visitation from New Zealand – heading over 220,000 mark for a calendar year.

Brand USA hosted business partners to The Oakroom in Auckland for an end of year thank you and catch up this week.

Wayne Mitcham, Brand USA; Pip Ashford, Anaheim & Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Gaye Wood, Regency Tourism Marketing


Stephen Tanner, Walshe Group; Louise Sutton, Flight Centre


David Libeau, Stella Travel Services; Jerome Knott, Air New Zealand


James Donegan, American Consulate General; Leanne Cheesman, United Airlines


Julia Hindman, Flight Centre; Bridget Fogarty, House of Travel

Darragh Walshe, Hawaii Tourism Oceania; Thomas Gentz, Air New Zealand


Rich content, social Christmas

Travelport will be giving its new Rich Content and Branding, available through Smartpoint, extra profile in 2015.

The company held a Christmas ‘thank you’ function for travel industry clients and partners at Sub Rosa Café in Auckland this week.

It was primarily a casual chance to network with the New Zealand team, which includes relatively new commercial manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands Wendy Stanton, and meet (even newer) general manager Pacific, Kaylene Shuttlewood.

Shuttlewood says the Travelport’s new technology brings together the traditional airlines and low cost carriers and allows agents to sell all of the auxiliaries with increased efficiency.

‘Seats, meals, blankets, baggage etc – all the previously essay things are now combined, so it allows agents to book all of these in the one workflow process.

‘It gives agents increased productivity and efficiency and that’s the key – they can sell more and earn more.'

Neil Gestro, Stella Travel Services; Kaylene Shuttlewood, Travelport; John Willson, United Travel; Duncan Mackenzie, Singapore Airlines

Mick Cottrell, Jetstar; Wendy Stanton, Travelport; Leith Sisson, North Shore Business Travel

Leanne Cheesman, United; Sonia Nel, Glenn Walker, both Flight Centre

Paul Smith, First Travel Group; Mark Reeder, World Aviation Systems


Snapped at PAICE 2014

The 11th annual Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE) 2014 was held on Wednesday at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.

This year saw the first time Business Events Australia host a breakfast session with Nigel Collin, founder of Ingenious Oz Project.

Kelli Vettoretto, Marriott International; Shannon Thwaites, Gold Coast Business Events

Camilla Taylor and Jackie Coyne, S2N Events Ltd enjoying a massage from the Senikai Spas girls on the Tourism Fiji stand

Lesley Aldridge, Chimaera Group & Sales Incentive Travel; Jude Earles, Corporate Venues

Duncan Mckenzie, Singapore Airlines; Lynette Logan, NZ Travel Brokers

Katrina O'Donnell, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach; Adam Leslie, Graffiti Events

Mary Houghton, NZ Travel Brokers; Jodie McKinnel, HOT Events Christchurch

Wayne Harris, GO Conference & Incentive Management; Nick Maynard, Maui Jim Sunglasses

Julie Alderson, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts; Julie Ford, Hamilton Island; Nicole Naylor, Destination Asia

Krystal Bradnock, BCD Travel NZ; Hayley McIntyre, Orbit Group Travel Wellington

Lusiana Sinclair, Adrenalin Watersports Fiji; Munish Chetty, Orbitz Worldwide; Liza Walsh, Adrenalin Watersports Fiji Jacquie Carson, Vanuatu Tourism Office; Lynda Canning, Iririki Island Resort; Richard Elliot, Air Vanuatu Mark Ferguson, cievents; Randy Clark, The Kahala Hotel & Resort; Megan Hornblow, Hawaii Tourism Oceania; Guy King, Select Tours New Zealand Ltd
The Starwood Hotels and Resorts team took away best individual stand at the PAICE 2014 stand of the year awards

Nicole Naylor from Destination Asia accepts the runner up award for best individual stand from exhibition manager Ally Eastaugh

Wayne Deed from Tourism Fiji accepts the award for best regional stand from exhibition manager Ally Eastaugh
Simon Duffy, New Caledonia Tourism, accepts the runner up award for best regional stand from exhibition manager Ally Eastaugh Franck Hesse and Julie White, InterContinental Hotels Group

Nigel Collin, founder of Ingenious Oz Project; Greg Ward, MC


Qantas' new inflight dining launch

Qantas hosted a luncheon in Auckland’s Ponsonby Central this week to showcase its new inflight dining service for international economy customers.

A welcome drink of flavours exclusive to Qantas will be offered out to guests just 10 minutes after take off, increasing service interaction between passengers and crew.

The new inflight dining offers a wider choice of meals, 50% larger servings and faster service, as well as smaller geometric plates eliminating the use of trays and improving service time by up to 30%.

New dishes include a healthy option, a comfy option and a regionally inspired option, as well as an exclusive option for passengers who book and choose online.

The new service will be rolled out across the Tasman from 25 November.

Kelly Houliston, Tom Taylor, and Jo Lloyd, Qantas

Dan Cantin, Atlas Travel; Karen Stanbury, The Travel Brokers

Donna Hill, Quay Travel; Sandra Ivelja, Travel Broker

Vicki Boddington and Vicki Bull, United Travel Takapuna; Angelene Haslem, North Shore Business Travel

Jacqui Dickson and Mandy Veale, Mondo Travel; Jodie Burnard, Flight Centre Adrian Turner, Harvey World Travel; Igor Kwiatkowski, Qantas


Skal turns up roses

The last of Skal Auckland’s ‘Speaker Series’ for 2014 took place yesterday at Parnells on the Rose Garden with almost 50 members and invited guests keen to hear from Jim Donegan, US Consul General and the newly appointed consul, Tracy Brown.

Donegan gave a witty opinion of the US vs All Blacks game at the sold out Soldiers Field in Chicago over the weekend, but praised the touring rugby players for their efforts in getting out into the local community and mixing with the residents. ‘I do wonder if the All Blacks could have let the US score a try – but it’s ok. This game between the two countries goes towards awareness of each nation and encourages visitation and business interests between the two.’

Tracy Brown, whose postings prior to New Zealand included Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Iraq and Malta, says she wants to dispel the myth that applying to enter the US is scary and hard. ‘It really is easy. New Zealand is one of 37 countries that is part of the US Visa Waiver system. If agents and travellers go to and follow the ESTA link, they can pay the US$14 and then they have filled out the paper work. Some cases do require an interview – but these are scheduled in quickly and are painless. We want to encourage visitation between the two countries and so far we are seeing an average of 10% growth on visitors arrival numbers into America, which is all positive.’

Brown alluded to the number of ‘white sites’ that look exactly like the ESTA travel authorisation, and it is not until the end of the application that it becomes clear that the charge is more than US$14 – some as much as US$100. ‘These are companies that wrap around our site – it is out of our control, so always go in via the above site.’

The next Skal event is the annual Christmas lunch on 11 December at the rooftop terrace of the Rydges Hotel Auckland. RSVP here




On the door is Paul Leigh, Eurovista selling Rahul Sharma from Exotic Holidays raffle tickets – ‘Three for $5’





The Langham team of Michael Shah, Sarawan Singh and Frank Lu arrive for the Skal lunch Terry Holt, Spencer on Byron and Wendy D’Arcy, The Travel Brokers


Tracy Brown, consul, American Consulate General; Leighton Cameron, VP Skal NZ and president Christchurch Skal; Tony Smith, Frances Travel Marketing; Jim Donegan, US Consul General and Gaye Wood, Skal NZ President

Sponsors of the Skal lunch, the Expedia team, Stuart Udy, Ruth Dixon and Chris Jones, were on hand to discuss the TAAP Expedia programme.


The Travel Corporation’s roadshow

The Travel Corporation family of brands – AAT Kings, Adventure World, Contiki, Insight Vacations, Trafalgar and Uniworld – hit the road ;ate September to give agents the rundown on new 2015 Europe, Australia and global holiday options for 2015. The trade events took place in towns and cities across both the North and South Islands.

Reece Scott, AAT Kings and Sharon Hall, House of Travel on Victoria Melissa Bannister, Trafalgar and Natalie Jowett, Travel 2 U Dalwyn Sinclair, House of Travel Upper Riccarton and Greg Marett, Uniworld

Janelle Maloney, Samantha Low & Rachel Johnson all from IYC Travel Nicola McLaren, Michelle Habib, Lisa Roebuck, Boutique Mondo Travel New Plymouth Grant Carter and Nicole Collingwood, both from Air NZ Holidays New Plymouth
Sharyn Kerr, House of Travel Hamilton; Sam Morrah, Contiki and Judy Harkness, Calder & Lawson HOT Lynne Moore, Claire Gallagher, Kathleen Poole all from HWT Dinsdale Bruce Gentry, AAT Kings catches up with Andrew Haworth and David Thomas, United Hamilton


Bula Marau Luxury and Couples Roadshow

Tourism Fiji held a hugely successful roadshow throughout
New Zealand in September with 370 agents attending
events in Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Hamilton and
Christchurch. Enthusiastic agents were keen to compete
for two major prizes to the Mamanuca Islands and northern
island of Vanua Levu.

<<At the Hamilton event, Cameron Taylor, Tourism Fiji
helps out Jo Foster, Ultimate Flyaway and Shonnie Pool,
Harvey World Travel Te Kuiti with the quiz questions
>>In Auckland, Monique Chadwick-Cook, Farahan Ptael
and Priscilla Keshaw, all GO Holidays.


New Zealand and Hawaii meet for business

In association with the Murray Chapman Lunch Club, the newly formed New Zealand Hawaii Association hosted a business lunch at Ellerslie Events Centre on Friday. Guest speaker was the entertaining Shane Jones, New Zealand’s ambassador for Pacific Economic Affairs and retired cabinet minister.

Gaye Wood, Regency Tourism Marketing and SKAL NZ President with Darragh Walshe, Hawaii Tourism Malcolm McLeod, First Travel with sponsors of the wine at the event, Tanya Warman and Grant Bevan, Business Word Travel Megan Hornblow, Hawaii Tourism and Carl Amos, Starwood Hotels & Resorts


Razzle dazzle for Royal Caribbean

It was showtime for Royal Caribbean last night at the launch of the annual roadshow that kicked off at Auckland's Floating Pavilion. Themed around an actual cruise experience, the venue as turned into a live stage show - complete with Show Girls, food stations and cocktail bar.

It was all razzle dazzle for the RCI team and the announcing the deployment of three ships cruising from Sydney for the 2015/16 season.

Voyager of the Seas is about to undergo a $100 million renovation and will emerge with the latest innovations including 80 inside cabins that will feature a virtual window. The wall will project a real-time view of outside the ship, streaming from HD cameras mounted on the ship's exterior and the wall will even have curtains.

The roadshow continues around the country until September 11. Don't miss it.

Mark Kinchley and Megan van den Bogaart, RCI meet and greet their guests at the Floating Pavilion before the show begins...
And here is it - Mark Kinchley steps into the shoes of the entertainment director/lead performer in a spectacular performance
The show girls could also have had something to do with it too.. Finale. Singing his wee heart out, Mark decided not to give up his day job
Sandra Barclay-Graham, the Private Travel Company; Katrina Cole, HOT Botany and Alison Kearney, HOT Howick Nicky Berriman, GO Holidays and Catherine Howard, HWT Ponsonby Terri Small and Vikki Bell, Supreme Tours sample the new Cosmopolitan cocktail
Michelle Sutton and Cathy Peacock, Cruiseabout Howick in the Little Photo Booth Gerard Murphy, Bon Voyage Travel and Chris Harrop, United Travel Mairangi Bay catch up at the roadshow
Smiles all round from the RCI team of Peter McCormack, national sales manager, based in Sydney; Megan van den Bogaart; Mark Kinchley and Sean Treacy, commercial director, from Sydney
Mark Kinchley (left) and Megan van den Bogaart, RCI (right) with Bob Deveraux and Rohini Jagmohan, both from The Travel Brokers
The Cruise Connections team of Sam Fowler, Shelley Hibbert and Libby Stafford with Megan van den Bogaart, RCI - red 'razzle dazzle; dress Kylie Masters and Helen Moffitt, HOT Remuera with Gary Smith, HOT Ponsonby


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