Famil trips before the Queensland on Stage trade workshops were designed to show Kiwi travel agents that there is more to the state than they may think – no matter how many times they and their clients have previously visited.
A trip into Queensland’s Outback, for example, proved that there is more to Queensland than the coast.
Hosted by Peter Homan of Outback Queensland, Kiwi delegates Lynne Sinclair and Yvonne Wilson of NZ Travel Brokers, joined by Sally Bird of Outback Queensland had three days to explore three different locations.
Templers Mill Hotel will rebrand to Mercure Orange in regional New South Wales in August 2017, following the completion of a three-year expansion masterplan and a nine million dollar transformation.
Owned by the Orange Ex-Services Club, the two-storey, 77-room soon-to-be internationally branded midscale Mercure hotel is within the club’s precinct which features nine function rooms including an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium.
Queensland on Stage wrapped up in Tangalooma this week with the revelation overall international visitor numbers were up 3.2%.
According to figures released by Tourism Research Australia, total visitor nights market reached 53.5 million in the year ending March 2017.
Cyclone-battered Whitsundays made a triumphant return to the tourism fold with a well-attended presentation at ATE 2017 late week.
A five-strong group of tourism and resort representatives from the popular Queensland destination presented a united front, outlining to trade the Whitsundays is not only back in business after damage caused by devastating Cyclone Debbie on March 29, but it is returning with revitalised product.
Tourism Australia’s focus on the New Zealand market will remain firmly on business events and incentives.
So remarked managing director John O’Sullivan at the Australian Tourism Exchange this week, saying the job of wooing Kiwi leisure travelers will remain with the eight states and territories in spite of increased competition in the wake of bolstered connectivity in the New Zealand market.
New Zealand travellers are amongst those showing Increased interest in the Melbourne-Sydney Inland Heritage Drive, says Anthony Jiang, marketing executive Asia Pacific, Sydney Melbourne Touring.
In a show of inter-state cooperation, one of four famils offered as part of the Visit Victoria Trade Mission this week was a four day Melbourne to Sydney road trip.
Visit Victoria regional manager New Zealand, Joanna Garrie says Kiwis don’t care about borders. ‘And nor should they, we should be selling the whole experience.
The eagerly awaited Gold Coast VIP famil took off last week, and 22 agents from around New Zealand experienced some of the Gold Coast’s popular attractions, sporting events and leisure activities.
Around half the group were first-time visitors to the region, including Michelle Sanders from Inspire Travel. ‘While our office is mainly corporate, we do have incentive business and the Gold Coast is on the cards for these clients. Coming on this trip is not only
Cruise Whitsundays has plans to increase its ‘Reef Sleep’ capacity on the Great Barrier Reef. The company presently offers ‘under-the-stars swag’ accommodation for nine people on the top deck of its Hardy Reef Pontoon, and hopes to increase this to 28.
Sales manager Lisa Bates says the Reef Sleep was originally popular with the European market but has become a multi-national attraction for both couples and single travellers.
The New Zealand trade will recognise the familiar face promoting a new regional tourism organisation in Western Australia – the Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation Inc.
CEO Karen Priest (ex Tourism Western Australia and New Caledonia Tourism when she was based in Auckland) exhibited at the AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne this week and says the region is a perfect marriage with the Margaret River.
Norfolk Island Airlines says it can now confirm that weekly services between the island and Auckland will commence on Saturday 27 May. This follows the Australian Air Services Commission publishing its interim determination allocating to Norfolk Island Airlines unlimited capacity to operate scheduled passenger services between Australia and New Zealand.
General manager Glen Buffett says Norfolk Island Airlines is now able to get out into the market with the news.
Norfolk Island Airlines plans to introduce a weekly service between the destination and Auckland, hopefully just a week after Air New Zealand pulls the plug on the route in May this year.
Airline spokesman Glen (Spud) Buffett, says an application has been made to begin the service from the last Saturday in May. He is confident all will go to plan and says if the Auckland service takes off the airline will actually make the flight a Brisbane – Norfolk – Auckland return trip.
Buffett says the airline has looked at the figures and is sure it can make the flight commercially viable. He says Air New Zealand quoted a decline in passenger numbers as the reason for pulling the flight.
Tourism Australia has announced Dreamtime – its signature event for promoting the country as a world-class incentive destination – will for the first time be held in Brisbane.
The Australian industry will meet and do business with buyers from key markets including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, USA and the United Kingdom.
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan says the biannual event has a strong track record in driving real business outcomes for the Australian business events industry.
‘Taking the event to Brisbane is an exciting development for a city that is continuing to raise its profile internationally as an ideal incentive destination,’ says O’Sullivan.
Dreamtime 2015 generated more than 60 incentive business leads worth A$40 million.
The Sunshine Coast attracted a 45% increase in expenditure (to $266.5 million) by international tourists in the year to September 2016, an all-time record for the region.
Extension of Air New Zealand’s direct flights saw 21.3% growth in holiday visitors from New Zealand, and overall Kiwi visitor growth of 11.6% (to a total of 66,000 annually).
The sharp rise in spending was revealed in the International Visitor Survey (IVS) released this week by Tourism Research Australia.
The record expenditure figures were built on a 6.4% growth in international visitors (to 272,000), with holiday visitors up 9%. Holiday visitors also stayed considerably longer – up 27.9% - to an average 7.8 nights per stay and expenditure grew 19.5% to $89.3 per night.
Think Australia’s a hard sell? Think again, New Zealand.
That was the comment from Sally Holyer, New Zealand country manager of Tourism and Events Queensland, who was at a Sunshine Coast Roadshow event in Auckland this week, along with about 50 retail and business travel agents.
Holyer says 63,000 Kiwis visited the Sunshine Coast in the past year, a 13% growth year on year. The average stay by New Zealanders is nine-and-a-half room nights.
Sailing Sydney Harbour on an America’s Cup yacht with Explore is an experience that received a boost in the New Zealand trade profile recently.
A group of decision makers from Flight Centre, House of Travel and Global Travel Network (GTN) recently got on the harbour with Explore and had the opportunity to get involved in raising the sails, tacking, grinding and skippering from the helm.
The group was on Kookaburra, originally built by the Challenge of Antibes Yacht Club for the 1995 America’s cup but not actually finished in time to race – though it was later used as a trial boat.
Kit Nixon, chief executive officer of Explore, says the company has been getting great feedback from the New Zealand trade group. ‘We certainly see potnetial out of the leisure and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) markets here. We are certainly receving interest from the market here in terms of conferences and incentives and we have the ability to bring in more vessels to join when required to join the two we operate.’