World Journeys held its inaugural agent Masterclass at Ponsonby Central in Auckland mid June, training 30 senior agents on the finer details of selling what can be a challenging destination - Africa. Nearly 30 agents were hand-picked from around the country for the event. Director Ange Pirie says they wanted to reward those agents who have achieved great Africa sales and recognise those who have the potential to sell the destination.
Agents heard from visiting &Beyond safari specialist Lucille Hattingh and World Journeys director Chris Lyons, before being dining on a African themed dinner. 'We’ve had positive feedback from agents' says Pirie, 'and we are looking to extending the Masterclass concept to a selection of our other key destinations and agents in due course'.
World Expeditions is adding to its North American adventure offering with the launch of a two week hiking trip in Hawaii. World Expeditions CEO Sue Badyari (Sydney) joined New Zealand general manager Natalie Tambolash in a launch event for travel agents and media at Auckland's Conservatory Bar & Restaurant last night.
'Hiking the Aloha Isles is a soft adventure, off the beaten track experience taking in the Big Island, Maui and Kauai,' says Tambolash. Highlights include hiking trails within Kauai's scenic Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon, and Maui's lava desert - Haleakala National Park, plus up close volcanic encounters in Volcanoes National Park on Big Island.
'We are excited to be able to support this new product that takes in Hawaii's beautiful back country,' says Hawaii Tourism Oceania's Darragh Walshe.
The next departure is in September and the maximum group size is 13, click here for full trip details.
After a three year absence, Adventure World held a South America Fiesta roadshow at Auckland's Hopetoun Alpha on May 15. Eleven exhibitors were on hand to update the travel industry on what's hot in the continent and most travelled from their respective South American homeland to attend the fiesta, which headed to Tauranga after the Auckland event.
Ola! Santiago Garcia Muniz, Adventure World South America and Davina Bicker, Adventure World in full fiesta mode
Adventure World is celebrating 30 years of operation in July this year and NZ general manager Dave Nicholson says South America was the only destination the company sold back then. 'How things have changed. Today, bookings to South America are booming with our figures reflecting a 23% increase from last year. Peru, in particular Machu Picchu, continues to be the number one destination visited, but we are seeing second time travellers heading to Patagonia in Chile and cruising through the glaciers and fjords. The landscape of this region is so dramatic and different from the rest of South America.'
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are also seeing record numbers of visitors. Nicholson suggested that interest could be drawn from David Attenborough's TV programmes and other documentaries surrounding South America. 'Last years Rugby Championship (previous the Tri- Nations), where Air New Zealand took their black painted aircraft to Argentina, boosted interest and placed exposure on South America. This has helped generate bookings not only to Argentina, but all South American countries and many travellers extended into neighbouring countries,' says Nicholson.
Getting to South America and then around the continent is now easier with the merger between LAN and TAM. Katherine Mason, sales and marketing manager LATAM says agents are seeing a positive shift as a result of the merger. 'With the combined network of the LATAM Airways group, the company now flies to 135 destination in 22 countries, operates 310 aircraft and employees 51,000 staff. We are enhancing our service and our VIP lounge in Santiago is now available for all passengers travelling on LATAM at a cost of USD30 for up to five hours or USD50 over five hours,' says Mason.
The Thailand roadshow showcased hotels (mainly from Phuket, Ko Samui and Bangkok) as well as a theme park, arilines and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau when it was held at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on May 14.
Tony Smith, Francis Travel Marketing; with Jacqui Hansen, Emma Robertson and Kelly Tawhai, all Go Holidays
Milena Bossa, Thai Airways International; Cindy Kapea, Infinity Holidays
Welcome to the Thailand Roadshow say Kerry Cook, Bruce Watson and Kelly Bates – all Francis Travel Marketing
SKAL members were asked to bring along a lady to this month's lunch at the Stamford Plaza, Auckland. And most did. The lunch was sponsored by New Caledonia Tourism and there were plenty of prizes up for grabs.
Aircalin and New Caledonia Tourism offered up the major prize draw - a trip to Noumea. Angela Hallett, Aircalin and Simon Duffy, New Caledonia Tourism drew lucky Marija Gecan, Hilton Auckland, from the draw - merci beaucoup!
Australian Tourism Exchange - ATE 13 kicked off with media briefings and market dinners on April 26, with the exhibition proper commencing on April 27. Business, networking and some good old partying are all part of the programme
Sarah Turner and Tim Swan on the Air New Zealand stand
The T Bar in Adelaide Central Market and Rundle Street is a South Australian institution that has also been showcasing its variety of teas at ATE 13 for 10 years - Peggy Veloudos, T Bar (second from left) with South Australian Tourist Commission’s Stacey Cant, Jessica Playford and Jane Wilson
The Asia Now roadshow completed its final seminar at Auckland's Waipuna Conference Centre on April 23. After visiting Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North and Whangarei, the busy exhibitors still had the energy to enthuse the 70 travel agents who attended the Auckland event.
Rod Griffith, Peregrine Gecko's, introduced the team and explained that the new name of the roadshow - Asia Now (formally know as Asia Travel Marketing Seminars) is meant to update the industry on what is happening in Asia now. The eight minute presentations by each exhibitor contained product updates, destination awareness and what's hot in Asia now.
The Asia Now team - back left Davina Bicker, Adventure World; John Crouch, Wendy Wu Tours; Lyn Rapley, SQ; Ross Tutin and Jacqui Brook, Brunei Tourism; Nicky Berriman, GO Holidays; Sheree Myers, SQ and Wendy Thomson, Active Asia.
Front - Lisa McCallum, Adventure World; Rod Griffith, Peregrine Gecko's; Kelvin Chak, Acrossia and Julie Rice, Macau Tourism
Continuing around the room, Griff, Peregrine Gecko's explains the product differences to his group, including Margy Twigden and Steph Daji, Travelsmart Meadowbank
Right - Wendy Wu's John Crouch
Kitchen restaurant at Hotel DeBrett was the location for a three course dining experience between Gold Coast suppliers and Kiwi travel and event managers this week. Representatives from Gold Coast Convention Bureau, Village Roadshow Theme Parks, McLarens Landing, QT Hotels and Resorts, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Tangalooma Island Resort and Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach were there to update the Kiwis on the latest on the Coast.
Peter Dunn of Gold Coast Convention Bureau says of all the developments going on in the city at the moment, one of the most exciting is the Rapid Transit Light Rail system, a first for Queensland. Set to be operational by mid 2014, stage one runs for 13 kilometres, from Southport to Broadbeach. Dunn says for large conferences held at the convention centre in Broadbeach, the rail system will be able to run a short transfer to Surfer's Paradise, accessing a wide range of accommodation, leisure and dining choices.
Other developments in the pipeline include the Broadwater Marine Project, which will encompass an integrated resort with a casino, cruise terminal, residential space and a hotel (or hotels). Undertaken by the Gold Coast city council, decisions are still in the making, but work is predicted to begin next year.
Meantime, the city council has shortlisted three worldwide entrants to design a cultural precinct planned for Evandale. It is envisaged the precinct will incorporate a new arts museum, living arts centre and a subtropical outdoor landscape.
'Cities leverage off cultural elements,' says Dunn. 'Canberra and Brisbane had done well on that front, there's no reason why Gold Coast can't too.'
April 4 marked exactly five years until Gold Coast Hosts the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Left: Ruth Turner, Destination Travel Management; Lesley Aldridge, Chimaera Group & Sales Incentive Travel and Mike Clancy, Eden Events
Right: Andrew McSweeney; QT Hotels & Resorts and Winnie Fong, GO Conference and Incentive Management
Left: Keith Sumner, Gilpin Travel Events and Peter Dunn, Gold Coast Convention Bureau
Right: Adam Leslie, Graffiti Events and Felicity Hughes McLarens Landing
The Joint Airlines Workshops (JAWS) have been touring the country for two decades, and this year included an appearance at the Commerce Club in Remuera.
Left: Adryon Smith, Flight Centre; Marieanne Ouwehand, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Mike Van Beekhuizen; Flight Centre
Right: Christine Wynne-Jones and Kylie Masters, House of Travel Remuera
Left: Jennifer Denekamp, Malaysia Airlines; David Boyce, Mondo Travel Remuera
Right: Marieanne Ouwehand, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Felina Wright, Delta; Suzanne Conradie, South African Airways
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