Agents preview Mrs Brown's Boys

Yes, they made a movie of the popular TV series, Mrs Brown's Boys.

Air New Zealand, Trafalgar and Tourism Ireland held a industry screening of the movie at Auckland's Lido Theatre last night. Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland, dressed as the Trevor Brown the priest and Mrs Brown's son, and Mary Galway, Tourism Ireland, almost unrecognisable as she donned Winnie McGoogans' curlers, set the mood for the evening.

Sponsors of the event included Tayto potato chips, that are made at Tayto Castle, county Armagh and Baileys Irish Cream.

The nationwide release date for theatres around NZ is August 4.

Gordon Gillan, Trafalgar; Mary Galway, Tourism Ireland (aka Winnie McGoogan) and Thomas Gentz, Air New Zealand welcome the movie goers
The Air New Zealand team of Geraldine Hutchison, Ange Daniels, Hylda Bloomfield and Trusha Patel about to take their seats
Kathleen Magon and Rowena McCarron, Flight Centre Product
Daniel and Rozanne Bloomfield, Target Travel
Ruth Spencer (Mrs Te Radar) and Mr Te Radar reckon the movie should be brilliant
Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland, aka Trevor Brown with another celebrity, Anabelle White
Shirley and Charles Taylor, Taylor Made Travel with a Guiness or two in hand

<<What great product placement for Tayto potato crisps. Over from Brisbane for the screening is Diane and Alan Graham, distributors of Tayto with Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland


>>Roann Roberts, Flight Centre and Jan Kynoch, Eco Deals

Getting comfortable before the movie is Rebecca and Lee Smyth, Kristen Edgeworth Travel and Denise Fowler, The Travel Brokers and Robert Fowler


Roaring night at Flighties ball

Flight Centre's annual awards and ball took place last week and the evening was by all accounts a 'roaring' success.

The top awards went to:

Top Retail - Amy Laurin
Top Corporate - Lisa Hooper
Top Infinity - Jay Singh
Directors Award - Sue Matson
Hall of Fame - Jay Singh

Vector Arena in full 'Flighties' glory
Pictured with their awards are Lisa Hooper, Jay Singh and Amy Laurin. Entertainment came in all sorts...


Mondo's gourmet Margaret River food and wine package

Mondo Travel launched its Margaret River gourmet food and wine package yesterday with an upscale event at Marvel Grill in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter. Celebrity chef Matt Stone flew in from Australia to showcase a three course sample menu of Australian flavours that travellers can expect to enjoy at Margaret River's Gourmet Escape Food Festival.

Stone showcased an innovative menu that included ingredients such as wattle seed, whey protein; truffles and ants.

The event was supported by partners Tourism Western Australia and Air New Zealand who will be putting the new Dreamliner on the AKL-PER service.

< Gordon Bayne, Mondo Travel and Louse Frend, Tourism Western Australia

Well it looked pretty - melted marshmallows dusted with flowers and ants.... ....and it tasted pretty good too! Mondo's Gordon Bayne and Shiree Lambert give dessert a try. Jerome Knott, Air New Zealand, Alka Thapar, Europcar and Chris Ingram, Tourism Australia


Skal speakers series lunch

Skal Auckland’s ‘Speaker Series Events’ continued last week with a record turnout of members and guests at the Sofitel Auckland Hotel Viaduct Harbour, keen to hear Tourism New Zealand’s CEO Kevin Bowler address the group with updates on NZ Tourism trends, hottest markets and latest promotional successes.

The next Skal Auckland networking luncheon event will be held on August 7 at AUT University where members will be hosted by students from the School of Hospitality & Tourism with guest speaker Professor Nigel Hemmington. For more details contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or

Paul Evans, Stamford Plaza; Gaye Wood, AKL president and Terry Holt, Spencer on Byron
Skal guest Clare Fletcher with members Shirley Taylor and Maggie Hunt Guest speaker, Kevin Bowler, CEO Tourism NZ; Gaye Wood, AKL president and Wouter de Graff, Sofitel NZ Visiting Rotorua Skal member Mike Johnson with Tony Smith, Frances Travel Marketing and Tim Butcher, Travel Directions


RWC 2015 - 470 days to go...

The countdown is on for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and VisitEngland are pulling out all the stops to encourage Kiwis to make the trip to see the All Blacks make it two in a row!

Kersti Martin, VisitEngland and Jeremy Brinkworth, project director RWC, updated the industry on the RWC 2015 and what else is happening in the UK during the six week tournament. 'This will be bigger than the Olympics,' says Brinkworth. 'There are 2.3 million tickets in the market and we expect 400k - 500k to go overseas, with a large proportion going to New Zealander's.'

Other events taking place across the UK will be the 125 anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie and 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta. Brinkworth says there will be plenty of reasons to visit and stay on past the RWC.

Games will be held across 10 cities and 12 stadiums, commencing on September 18 and the final on October 31, 2015. All Blacks Tours were appointed the official travel agent for RWC 2015 packages, with Williment Travel, House of Travel, BCD Travel and Orbit as the four sub-agents.

Joelle Talbot, head of sales and marketing All Blacks Tours says 1,500 packages have been sold since they went on sale on March 1, equating to 6,000 tickets.

Brinkworth highlighted a couple of points that could be useful in a trivia evening: 1823 - the year rugby was invented; 1843 - the first rugby team was assembled; 1974 - the first streaker took to the field at Twickenham stadium.

In resigning that the All Blacks were in relatively easy pool draw and had a reasonable chance of moving forward, the English team were in a pool draw with Australia and Wales, and with only two teams to move on - someone is going to be very unhappy early on.

Stephen Tanner, Etihad Airways; John Willson, United Travel and Chris Paylel, Emirates
Rowena McCarron and Kathleen Magon, Flight Centre Product Candice Swale DriveAway Holidays and Kirsty Blows, Rail Plus Official travel agent for RWC 2015, the team from All Blacks Tours, Joelle Talbot, Bessie-Rose Htay and Dan Boyd were on hand to answer any questions about packages to the games

<< Kersti Martin, VisitEngland updates the industry with what's happening in the UK in the lead up to RWC2015 and during


>>Letitia Eyes, Avalon Waterways and Kirsty Blows, Rail Plus


Solar and sights at Auckland Museum

A selection of international TRENZ buyers were the first public group to view Auckland War Memorial Museum's new solar panels recently installed on roof level. The museum's sustainability manager, Karl Satchell, says the two year project has enabled the generation of power for air conditioning and lighting to preserve the museum's important exhibitions.

'We have reduced electricity and gas by 50% in the last few years and the solar panels will only add to those improvements,' says Satchell. The solar panel system will have a payback of ten years, and the project was supported by Meridian Energy, Creative New Zealand and installed by What Power Crisis?


Left: Nice day for a scenic shot, the TRENZ delegates pose for a rooftop photo with Rangitoto in the background

Sustainability engineer Karl Satchell explains the solar panel project Prime views from the top of the museum Seema Sabharwal, Air New Zealand India office; Dipiti Pendharkar; Adam Taylor-Eruera, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Ekaterina Bezhatskaya, Gray Line; Rahul Ranjan Lal, Tui India; Manimaran Suberamanian, Sunway Tours (Malaysia) Laura Huang and Sheila Vargas, Auckland War Memorial Museum Shelley Tomkins and Adam Taylor-Eruera, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Manimaran Suberamanian, Sunway Tours and Brijeshkumar Amin, Krupa World Tourism pose with Haka the Legend kapa haka performers
Sharron Hicks, ProGuides New Zealand; John McIntyre, Auckland Museum Trust board member Elbert Sia B.H, Vacations Hub Travel & Tours; Sammi K.H Low, PNL Travel


Spain, trains and planes

The Spain Tourism Board held a Spain product update for the industry at Rydges Hotel in Auckland mid May. The presentation was supported by Rail Plus, Rail Europe, Emirates and El Corte Ingles.

One lucky winner won two economy class tickets to Barcelona or Madrid with Emirates, two first class Renfe Spain rail passes from Rail Plus, two nights accommodation in Barcelona and 200euro's to spend at El Corte shopping centre in Spain with the assistance of a personal shopper.

After completing a questionnaire Gina McCarthy from United Travel Takapuna was the lucky winner.

A Spanish welcome from Lisa Linn and Kirsty Blows - Rail Plus; Ingrid Kocijan - Rail Europe; Tabitha Anderson and Lynda Tudor - Emirates
Sue Smith-Kindred - Kindred Travel; Angela Tuffley - Warkworth Flight Centre; Kirsty Blows - Rail Plus Arturo Ortiz - Director SE Asia, Australia & NZ and Vien Cortes Market Anlyst SE Asia, Australia & NZ - Tourist Office of Spain Ingrid Kocijan - Rail Europe; Kirsty Blows - Rail Plus, Winner Gina McCarthy - United Travel Takapuna; Lynda Tudor - Emirates; Arturo Ortiz and Vien Cortes - Tourist Office of Spain


Gary Smith - HOT Ponsonby shows off his limited edition Air New Zealand cabin bag


Scene stealers at ATE14 Cairns

Who's in front of our cameras at the Australian Tourism Exhnage (ATE14) in Cairns?

A number of New Zealand delegates at ATE were at the Destination NSW exclusive function at Salt House Marina Point last night. The evening included a performance by the popular band The Potbellez and showcased produce and wine from New South Wales. Sam Cameron, Destination NSW; Jodie Burnard, Flight Centre; David Libeau, Stella Travel Services; Maja Smithson, GO Holidays Penny Henderson, Pack ya Bags; Daniel Kunzi, Apollo Motorhome Holidays
Steve McRoberts and Grace Pan, Tourism and Events Queensland
Sally Holyer and Steven Battle, both Tourism and Events Queensland The team at Tourism Australia's Restaurant Australia - Helena Egerton, Ellise Aprea, Glen Thorp Karen Priest, Aspen Parks and Resorts; Debbie Ferguson, Exmouth Diving Centre
Anthea Somerville, SeaLink - Captain Cook Cruises; Daniella Tonetto, Starwood Hotels and Resorts In the media room - the Tourism Australia communications team…Minta Burn, Alison Beer, Kim Moore
Gordon Bayne, Mondo Travel; Louise Frend, Tourism Western Australia
Greg Waites, Coral Sea Resort; Ray Aucott, Pack ya Bags
Yoshihisa Oda, Barrier Free Travel; Michael Hall, Southern Travelnet
Chris Ingram, Tourism Australia and Maja Smithson, Go Holidays
Jenny Aitken and Frances-Anne Keeler, both Tourism Australia
Jane Wilson, South Australian Tourism Commission Louise Frend at the Tourism Western Australia stand
At the welcome function in Shed 2, The Wharf in Cairns - Paula Sundin, House of Travel; Rachel Pedder, Air New Zealand; Rachel Mancini, House of Travel
Gordy Bayne, Mondo Travel Group; David Libeau. Stella Travel Srvices
Lee Eyre, Catch a Crab; Yoshimi Kobayashi, Gold Coast Tourism; Janine Browmaker, Banora International Group; Lydia Latimer, Gold Coast Tourism

<<Anyone for coffee? A hot drink was sponsored by Virgin Australia during ATE and Mel Knoche and Roxanne Ship were there to serve it with a smile


>>At the Indigenous Champions evening in Hilton Cairns - Annie Lyons, eConnect Australia; Amanda Hall, Tourism Australia; Chanel Galens, eConnect Australia


A night at the races

Singapore Airlines held their annual agent function last night to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Held at Auckland's Britomart Country Club, the theme was loosely based around the year of the horse, with guest's dressed to impress in race-day attire.

A night at the races would not be complete without a best dressed award, and Kelvin Ngim, Flight Centre Manukau, won over the crowd with his sophisticated catwalk swagger, earning himself a bottle of French wine.

Carol Morgan, Voyage Affaires, won the night's business card draw for two tickets to Singapore including passes to well-known Singapore attractions including Sentosa Island and mainland zoo.

Edwin Chiang, general manager New Zealand, says Singapore Airlines has been operating in New Zealand for 40 years, and it's relationship with New Zealand is only going to get stronger.

'By the end of this year, our pending partnership with Air New Zealand will see the enlargement of our fleet, allowing for more capacity and more direct flights into Singapore.'

Brijesh Sethi, Travel Point; Edwin Chiang, general manager NZ Singapore Airlines; Mohammad Tauqir Khan, Travel Point Bennett Jordan and Roshni Patel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Kelvin Ngim, Flight Centre Manukau, won a bottle of French wine for winning over the crowd vote in the best dressed awards
Samantha Baxter (leftt) and Jeremy Lowe, Flight Centre St Lukes, with Leena Shinma, Singapore Airlines Jemma Vinsen and Trina Smith, Atlas Travel with Graham Bennett, sales executive Singapore Airlines Gail Littin and Craig Boyt, Pukekohe Travel
Jacqui Jones; Carol Morgan; Sue Johnson, Voyage Affaires - Carol won the night's business card draw for two tickets to Singapore including passes to well-known Singapore attractions including Sentosa Island and mainland zoo. Amber King, House of Travel New Market, was nominated in the best dressed category Sesh Dayal and Paul Parkin, Flight Centre Botany
Kaori Hosono, Singapore Airlines; Gerard and Michele Murphy, Bon Voyage Janet Turner and Craig Brown, Travel Productions Samara Liyanage; Sian Sherriff; Maree Joll, Flight Centre Mt Eden


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