Hot Off The Press
The annual Tourism Industry Award took place on Friday night, with more than 300 industry leaders attending the black tie event at SKYCITY.
The full list of winners are:
• Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Industry Award, and Business Excellence Award – annual turnover more than $6 million supported by JLT/AIG: Skyline Rotorua
• Sir Jack Newman Award (outstanding industry leader) supported by Crowe Horwath International: Sir Peter Jackson, Wellington
• Emerging Tourism Leader, supported by PATA Trust: Ryan Sanders, Haka Tours Ltd, Auckland
• Tourism Industry Champion, supported by Sudima Hotels & Resorts: Jeroen Jongejans, Dive! Tutukaka
• Visitor Experience Award, supported by ServiceIQ: Coronet Peak Ski Area, Queenstown
• Business Excellence Award – annual turnover less than $6 million supported by Westpac: Haka Tours Ltd, Auckland
• Environmental Tourism Award, supported by Mercury Energy: Ziptrek Ecotours, Queenstown
• Maori Cultural Tourism Award, supported by Spark Business: TIME Unlimited Tours, Auckland
• Tourism Marketing Campaign Award, supported by ReserveGroup: Thrifty Car Rental New Zealand, Christchurch
• Industry Alignment Award, supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment: Department of Conservation/Air New Zealand - The Great Walks Story
• Tourism 2025 Enabler Award, supported by Auckland Airport: Angus & Associates, Wellington
Earlier this year TRAVELinc Memo reported on the heavy dominance of males in travel agent association boards. The re-election of an all male board at the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) annual general meeting recently has prompted us to get some reaction from the NZ travel sector.
Wendy van Lieshout, chief executive officer Mondo World Travellers says that for an industry that’s so heavily dominated by women, there is a distinct lack of representation at the higher levels of management and in governance roles.
van Leishout was the only woman to stand for the board of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) this year.
‘While I believe the pendulum is starting to swing to some degree, a lot more work can be done to encourage women to strive for higher positions. In the same way as we are encouraging new people into the industry, we should be working towards creating pathways to success for the smart and driven women within the industry who want to achieve,’ she says.
‘These women will then also act as role models to attract more women into the industry. Mentorship programmes endorsed and promoted by the industry training and/or regulatory bodies could be a step in the right direction.’
Kay Rogers, managing director of United Travel At Bethlehem, The Mount, Katikati, and Te Puke, says a female voice on the TAANZ board would be ‘a healthy change’, although she also feels that most women would not yearn to be amongst that sort of structure.
‘I believe it is something that women need to address as we are often the doers, with limited opportunities to add the big picture stuff.’
Rogers adds that many ‘modern’ male counterparts in travel embrace women who are making their mark in the industry. ‘They do truly value our input and our views. These are exciting times and it is the best industry ever.’
She says having women on boards in general is a healthy thing. ‘It often frightens me that we can look at the same object or problem, both seeing two entirely different scenarios – this is obviously why it is critically important to get a balance of both genders on board.’
Gaye Wood, a director of Regency Tourism says women will still find some resistance from some quarters when they try to gain positions on committees and boards. ‘Sometimes it is a comfort thing. Guys are good at bonding and women need to be efficient at that as well.’
Wood was president of SKAL International in Auckland for two years and Sydney for one and has been on a number of boards both within and beyond the travel and tourism sectors.
‘In general terms there are always opportunities for women – they need to be proactive, get out there and prove themselves and sell themselves.’
Andrew Olsen, chief executive officer of TAANZ, says the industry could benefit from having more women in senior positions.
‘Businesses might want to consider developing mentoring programmes to help prepare talented women for succession into these positions. That said, we have some capable women heading up brands at the moment and some very talented women in other key trade positions.’
NB: The latest Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) board was elected at the AGM in Christchurch this week. The independent chairman of that board is John Duncan and there is one elected male. There are two co-opted female members of the board and eight elected females. The chief executive is a woman.
The addition of premium hotels at the ‘extreme high end’ of luxury travel, a new Enchanting South itinerary and an updated tour named The Second Marigold Hotel are among the features of the latest Total Holiday Options brochure.
The premium category is added to the existing comfort, deluxe and luxury choices and director sales, Anita Thomas says the demand for such accommodation is evident.
She says a certain sector of the travelling public from New Zealand can afford such accommodation. ‘We are talking about palaces and other top luxury product. The time is definitely right to introduce this.’
Premium accommodation includes the Fateh Prakash Palace in Udaipur, the Suryagarh Palace in Jaisalmer, the Oberoi Cecil in Shimla and a number of others.
The new Enchanting South itinerary is 17 days – 16 nights starting in Bangalore and finishing in Kovalam beach, before departing from nearby Trivandrum Airport. Hights include safaris in wildlife sanctuaries, two nights in Cochin and a backwater cruise in Kerala.
The programme also continues Total Holiday Options’ focus on niche travel and experiences, with popular inclusions such as the 11 day Golf Tour of India, the 14 day Golden Triangle & Wellness Tour of India, and an emphasis on train journeys like Maharaja Express, Deccan Odyssey and Palace on Wheels.
Total Holiday Options managing director Amaan Khan says the tours can all be personalised and clients can choose to ‘mix and match hotels’ staying in various categories of accommodation on different nights.
The brochure also has a large selection of add-ons and, while some are city and regional extensions, others focus on experiences such as the popular Marwari Horse on Historical Tour that starts in Udaipur or Jodhpur and ends in Kumbhalgarh. Also available are The Winery of India tour, a Flavours of India cooking class, and a Salaam Baalak Trust Walk in Delhi. The latter supports an NGO that provides shelter and care for children.
‘Travelling is not just about sightseeing and looking at the monuments,’ says Anita Thomas. ‘People want to touch and connect with the locals, experience festivals, visit tribes, have hot air balloon trips and visit a textile shop . These are the things people are going for.’
Air New Zealand's new flagship lounge at Auckland International Airport can accommodate 40% more people than its predecessor, which chief executive Christopher Luxon says is partly due to the growth of the Koru Club.
‘Koru Club membership has been increasingly tremendously over the last few years - we now have over two million members in New Zealand.
‘Last year saw membership increase 16-17%, which is symptomatic of the company’s growth.
‘That’s partly why the lounge is 40% bigger, it can actually be 60% bigger with additional seating if required.’
Luxon says the success of the airline is allowing the company to give back to customers as well as ‘future proof’.
‘We’ve got lots of scope and space to accommodate the growth that’s taking place.
‘That’s why we’re going to spend another $100 million in the next four years on new lounges, that’s why we’re spending $2.7 billion on new aircraft, and that’s why we’re looking at technology investments as well.
‘We think there’s a lot of technology we can bring to the customer to make things smoother and easier… And we have a whole bunch of innovation that we’re looking to release over the next few years.
‘We know the business we had five or 10 years ago wouldn’t be competitive in today’s market, and that the one we have today wouldn’t be competitive in five or 10 years.
‘It’s about investing in future proofing – it’s important to do it now.’
Luxon says Air New Zealand is looking to construct new lounges in Invercargill and Brisbane, and is currently ‘in discussion’ with Nadi International Airport.
Auckland’s new Koru lounge is located on level one of the international terminal and features 24 different styles of seating, a new food theatre, a separate kids area, a business zone and an outdoor balcony area.
Globus sees no reason to ‘re-invent’ the touring category, but rather to reinforce and promote its inherent strengths, according to Troy Ackerman, Globus family of brands general manager in New Zealand.
‘The challenge for the New Zealand marketplace is to grow the niche in general. There is a larger touring market out there that we are still not tapping into.’
He says touring still delivers on ‘all levels’ for travellers who are time poor, those on varying budgets and people want things taken care of for them.
‘Coaches are still a fantastic way to get around Europe.’
Ackerman says Globus continues to make things easy for the trade.
‘We have a 10% discount on early bookings that only require a deposit by 1 December. That provides a big window and an incentive for people who only need to come up with the $250 deposit.
‘Our other big message is on guaranteed departures. Our integrity on guaranteed departures provides people with security.’
Ackerman says Globus is also reiterating its policy of paying commission on pre-booked optional tours.
‘We introduced that a coupe of years ago and it provides another revenue stream for agents. It’s a message we’d like to get through more to the travel trade.’
Monograms takes its place in the sun
Monograms has its own dedicated brochure in the New Zealand market for the first time and is already exciting interest amongst the travel trade, according to Globus family of brands general manager Troy Ackerman.
‘It has always been at the back of the Globus brochure but for 2016 we are bringing it to the forefront a bit more. We feel Monograms can complement Globus or Cosmos, either for a pre or post extension in Europe, or it can be an alternative to the more traditional turing if that is what a client is after. Monograms also fits well for people who want city stays before joining an ocean cruise or taking part in a different kind of activity.’
Ackerman describes Monograms as ‘fitting in between traditional touring and FIT’.
He says clients can access three night packages in a city utilising a local host and sightseeing, or can use first class rail for a multi-city package.’
‘We are doing trade events all around the country at the moment. We’ve had four already and will do a total of 22. I would say we are getting the most excitement out of the Monograms brochure.’
The new visa requirements for the family tourism market of South Africa have created a serious drop in the number of tourists visiting the country, according to reports.
New international arrivals of families have dropped 9.8% since the new requirements have been put into practice, according to a Forwardkeys study. Not only has the tourism industry for families been on the decrease, total international travels in general have also been on the decrease between 6.8 and 10.6%.
These new regulations are taking a toll on the South African tourist industry. While the family segment was the only tourism segment which was on the rise before the new requirements (+1.8%), the numbers are now dropping.
The new requirements state that anyone who travels with someone under the age of 18 must present an unabridged birth certificate at port entry as well as a passport and visa. These regulations are intended to counter human and child trafficking, but are now turning well-meaning visitors away.
In addition, a new requirement has been put into place which requires international visitors apply in person for their visa to South Africa. This is to gather biometric information through fingerprints. The processing centers for South African tourism, however, are often too far away from the residence of potential visitors to be a viable option.
All in all, South Africa has lost 150,000 international visitors as well as $128 million when compared with the first quarter of 2014.
The new visa rules could cost the tourism industry $540 million in yearly revenue. The new laws have been placed under review by Derek Hanekom, the South African tourism minister. The South African-based BRICS think tank has suggested regulations which are less stringent and encourages international tourism once again.
Bruce Moffat, newly appointed general manager of Experience Mid Canterbury, says he has been missing the travel and tourism sectors since he left Virgin Australia in 2013.
‘I am really pleased to back in the industry,’ he says.
Moffat, based in Ashburton, replaces Nigel Birt, who moved on after six years in the role and who is now pursuing personal business interests.
‘I have been left a great platform to work on,’ says Moffat. ‘My first focus is on getting the local community to understand the importance of tourism and then to expand that into the greater Canterbury network, to let them know what is on their doorstep.
‘Thirdly we’ll be taking the message global. With China Southern Airlines coming into Christchurch in December and other international airlines such as Virgin and Emirates operating out of there we see some great opportunities.’
The region includes Methven, famous for its skiing and scenic offerings and Moffat says he will be focusing on promoting the district as a whole. He intends visiting Australia and later China to talk with the trade there about how they can work closely with operators in Mid Canterbury, especially in the wholesale area.
Moffat was regional sales manager New Zealand with Virgin Australia between from 2005 until March 2013. Before that, he was with Sabre Pacific for eight and a half years. For the last couple of years he has dabbled in real estate and other sectors.
Jacqui Brook from Delta Air Lines will be coordinating JAWS 2016 and asks agents to save these dates in their diaries. Queenstown and Auckland will not be on the circuit in favour of a slightly shortened JAWS roadshow that focuses on the main regional centres.
More details on venues and prizes will be made available shortly.
Dates are as followed: Dunedin - 29 February; Christchurch - 1 March; Nelson – 2 March; Whangarei – 8 March; Napier – 14 March; Wellington – 15 March; Palmerston North – 16 March; New Plymouth – 17 March; Tauranga – 22 March; Hamilton – 23 March.
New Zealand’s $24 billion tourism industry is on a roll but its rapid growth is creating challenges which will be debated at the TIA National Tourism Summit in Wellington on Thursday 19 November.
Registrations for the one day event are now open at www.nationaltourismsummit.co.nz
‘New Zealand tourism is enjoying a boom. Domestic tourism is growing steadily and international visitor arrivals recently surpassed 3 million a year. Importantly, there’s been strong double digit growth in spend by those visitors,’ Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) chief executive Chris Roberts says.
The Summit will delve into these and other hot tourism issues and opportunities, as well as reporting progress against the Tourism 2025 aspirational goal of growing total tourism revenue to $41 billion over the next decade.
The programme features a mix of speakers, including British transformational change expert Roger Flynn, whose experience includes British Airways, BBC and Virgin, where he worked directly with Sir Richard Branson.
The TIA National Tourism Summit Premier Partner is Wellington Airport.
The Summit is also supported by ServiceIQ, Lincoln University, Westpac, Smartpay and InterContinental Wellington.