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
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
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
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
Nicole Naylor from Destination Asia accepts the runner up award for best individual stand from exhibition manager Ally Eastaugh
Nigel Collin, founder of Ingenious Oz Project; Greg Ward, MC
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
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 www.dhs.gov 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’
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
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.
Tourism Fiji held a hugely successful roadshow throughout New Zealand in September with 370 agents attendingevents 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.
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.
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.
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