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WLG and HLZ agents win big Fiji prizes

Tourism Fiji has announced the big winners from last week's Bula Marau Luxury and Couples Roadshow that travelled the country. Three hundred and seventy agents attended the events and completed a quiz on the product presented to them at the events.

Jennifer Bosch from Flight Centre Newtown, Wellington won the Mamanuca prize.  She won Return tickets for two AKL/Nadi - upgradable to business class subject to space available - on Fiji Airways; three nights in a beachfront villa including full American breakfast and spa treatment from Vedomoni Spa at Matamanoa Island Resort; three nights including all meals at Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji and two nights in a beachfront bure Tropica Island Resort.

Jennifer Bosch is pictured centre with colleagues Renee Olsen, Jamie Shearer from Flight Centre Newtown

Lance Brown, from Calder & Lawson Travel won the northern island prize. He won return tickets for two AKL/Nadi - upgradable to business class subject to space available - on Fiji Airways; return flights Nadi to Savusavu for two; two nights for two in new Edgewater Bure, complimentary non-motorised resort activities including unlimited golf, guided snorkelling, tennis, rainfores trekking, kayaking, mountain biking at Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa; three night’s accommodation for two adults in an elegant Fijian Style Gardenview Bure ( upgrade subject to availability upon arrival), all gourmet meals daily, all bottled soft drinks, return vehicle transfers, 60 minute massage in Ocean Spa Bure, a romantic escape on the resorts private island at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort and two all inclusive nights in an Ocean Tropical Bure.  5 star gourmet meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner with all beverages including alcoholic and non-alcoholic at Namale Resort & Spa.

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Frontliners to Fiji in February?

A frontliners weekend, with some 100 agents from New Zealand, at the end of February next year is one of Tourism Fiji’s likely trade promotion initiatives next year. Details are still being worked through, but the weekend (which will also see 100 agents from Australia attend) is likely to include booth sessions, plus pre and post touring options.

Tourism Fiji is also finalising its roadshow programme for next year. TF’s New Zealand manager, Wayne Deed told product managers at a lunch last Friday (wrapping up the Bula Marau Fiji Luxury and Couples Roadshow) that the organisation will probably be able to share the plans on 28 October.

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Trafalgar: Fighting the frustration

Trafalgar is using its guests to tell the story of how the company has revolutionised guided travel – and hoping agents use the stories to close sales.

‘Trafalgar is frustrated in two ways,’ says chief executive officer Gavin Tollman. ‘We have an exceptional sales team in New Zealand and we have been telling agents about the evolution and transformation of Trafalgar. But not enough agents believe us… they still think of us as the old Trafalgar. There was nothing wrong with the old Trafalgar but we have evolved to meet the needs of the modern traveller. We have also every competitor telling they are the same as Trafalgar and we know that is just not true. So we are letting the people who really know the product tell the story.’

<< Talking Trafalgar in Titirangi with TRAVELinc Memo… Scott Cleaver, general manager New Zealand at Trafalgar and Gavin Tollman, chief executive officer Trafalgar interrupt a day of leisure in west Auckland with an interview at Stripe Café

Tollman says the website trafalgar.com will use guest generated content to get to the heartbeat of our brand. ‘By people telling their own stories, travel agents will be able to really see what Trafalgar is doing now.’ The company is promoting the hashtag #trafalgarinsider to further encourage guest story telling. ‘Between 70 – 80% of our guests travel with a smart device and of those, 50% are posting on social media. ‘Now we can aggregate that content.’

He says the information content is being managed through Stackla and all guests are also being invited to review their trip on Feefo. ‘We don't edit it or curate it. So I want travel agents to take a look at the new Trafalgar website. I want them to see that we have been the absolute disrupter and to see what we have done. Tollman says selling Trafalgar can be one of the most profitable things a travel agent can do. ‘Not only is the point of sale profitable but the customer is likely to repeat again and again. So now we are giving them a tool – these are not our words, they are our guests comments. So turn the screen around and show your clients what people are saying about they trip they are considering. That will close the sale.’

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Fiji boutique update – worth a long drive

The fact that some travel agents drove more than an hour and a half to attend the The Bula Marau Fiji luxury and couples roadshow in various parts of New Zealand last week is testament to the need for more information about boutique product in the destination. The Wellington event saw agents attend from as far way as Masterton, and in Hamilton, people came from Tauranga and Te Kuiti.

In all, the roadshow attracted approximately 340 agents around the country – including 180 to an evening event in Auckland. It then wrapped up with a product managers’ lunch.

<< Chris Southwick, Royal Davui Resort; Maria Apii, Tourism Fiji and James McCann, Yasawa Island Resort ready to greet Wellington agents

There was a consensus among retailers that Kiwis have the budget and the desire for a high-end Fiji holiday and this extends to the family market. The key for agents was to keep ahead of the game in terms of knowing the destination. ‘I have learnt about new resorts I didn’t know about,’ says Debbie McRobbie from House of Travel Hastings. ‘My clients can afford the luxury. Some of the resorts like Qamea (in Taveuni) are affordable, you just need to spend more to get there.’ ‘

We have a lot of families who want to go somewhere different in Fiji,’ says Karen Start, Flight Centre Napier. ‘They are repeat visitors and they have done their research. We get plenty of clients who want to do something different (to what they have done before). ‘Although we have clients who want adults only product with private beaches, it is good to see luxury product that takes kids. A lot of people struggle to find these resorts’.

Janine Rowe from United Travel Cambridge says her clients not only want something different, they also want to know what they can do when they are there. ‘If they want luxury, they want boutique. Clients can find the resorts on the internet but I need to be able to tell them about the activities - whether they can go diving, and how they can experience the local culture.’

United Travel’s Kay Rogers came from Tauranga to the Hamilton event. ‘I’ve learnt new things tonight even though I have been to Fiji maybe 20 times,’ she says. ‘By coming tonight I can see all the visuals – it’s as close as getting there. We’ve got to tailor-make holidays for our clients and by meeting everyone here we can start relationships so that we can do this. ‘You’ve got to have the answers for those clients who are looking for something different.’

Tourism Fiji’s New Zealand manager, Wayne Deed, says arrivals into Fiji for July this year are up 17% on the same month in 2013.

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TA's Savouring Australia campaign launched

Tourism Australia, in partnership with Air New Zealand has launched its ‘Savouring Australia’ campaign showcasing 80 of the best experiences in Australia. In keeping with the NTO’s  focus on world-class food and wine experiences, there are plenty of tasty stops on a journey that also includes incredible nature and wildlife, world-class shopping and shows and unique cultural experiences.

For a ‘real person's’ perspective, Tourism Australia enlisted photographer, foodie and blogger, Sarah Tuck who has been journaling her travels through print, online and video content which will play through Dish magazine and Yahoo! New Zealand.

Jenny Aitken, Tourism Australia general manager – New Zealand says, 'Sarah exemplifies Tourism Australia’s best prospect customer in New Zealand who is well travelled and is passionate about food and wine along with other key experiences such as nature and wildlife, shopping and shows and culture, all of which our customers have expressed strong preferences for.'

Sarah shares her journey which took in six Australian States where she spoke with local producers, checked out what’s trending in some of our favourite Aussie cities as and uncovered some real gems in regional Australia, all of which are within easy reach of the main centres.

In Broome, Sarah shares a rich  pearling legacy and witnesses the natural phenomena of the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ before saying 'yes please' to a glass of champagne as part of a very special shopping experience. Eastward, Sarah checks out latest trends and treasures in some of our most visited cities and finds that there is always something new to do, taste, or see.

Jenny Aitken says the content delivery from this campaign can be used as a great tool for agents in providing clients with inspiration for their next Australian holiday and as it is based around experiences it is easy for agents to zoom in on and create a bespoke Australian holiday that is best fitted to their clients personal interest of passion.

Sarah Tuck's adventure can be followed at #SavouringAustralia or bookmark www.savouringaustralia.co.nz

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TAANZ Awards - who's who

The 2014 TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards took place at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland on Saturday night and the sparkle dresses and tuxedos came out of the closet for a celebration of the local travel industry.

The 21 winners were: Best Agency Support: Air NZ Agency Support; Best Industry Representative: Mark Richardson, Globus; Best Hotel Group: Accor; Best Technology Supplier: Travelport Galileo; Best Car Rental Operator: Avis; Best Tour Operator: Globus; Best Cruise Operator: Avalon; Best International Airline - Offline: Lufthansa; Best Wholesaler: GO Holidays; Best International Airline - Online: Air New Zealand; Best Broker: Kristin Edgeworth Travel Managers Group. Best Broker Brand: NZ Travel Brokers. Best Travel Agency Manager Corporate: Paul Rennie, Orbit Corporate Travel; Best Travel Agency Manager: Chris Harrop, United Travel Mairangi Bay; Best Brand Corporate - Multi Location: APX. Best Brand Corporate Multi Location: Executive Travel; Best Brand Multi Location: World Travellers; Best Brand Retail Single Location: House of Travel Newmarket; Best Travel Consultant - Retail: Amy Laurin, Flight Centre The Base. Best Travel Agency Brand: House of Travel; Best Travel Consultant Corporate: Wendy Scneller, Executive Travel; Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Barlow.

The ladies from Rail Plus were out in force - Kirsty Blows, Stephanie Hummels and Lisa Linn

 

 

Colleagues Carl Sinclair and Anne Abernethy from APX
Caroline Clegg and Judith Wesley, World Journeys Dressed for a grand night out - Joe and Donal O'Sullivan, from Travel Marketing Cruise World and Peter McCormack, RCI
From Air Tahiti Nui we have Lee-Anne Beecher and Faye Spooner
Mark Kinchley, Royal Caribbean and Linda Halliday, HOT Head Office Andrew Barker, Accor, came in traditional Scottish garb and Len Carpenter , Harvey World Travel Mairangi Bay was most impressed

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AAT Kings and Down Under Tours

AAT Kings has taken a strategic shareholding in Queensland’s Down Under Tours with the aim to grow the tourism market in Cairns and the Tropical North. The commercial partnership ensures Down Under Tours will remain an independent company, with founders James and Gordon Dixon maintaining management control in Cairns.

AAT Kings, managing director, Anthony Hayes says the new partnership provides the missing piece of the Australian puzzle. 'We will now be in a position to provide the complete package to our customers and our industry partners around the world, with Down Under Tours’ strength and expertise in Tropical North Queensland adding to the depth of experiences and destinations AAT Kings already offers throughout the rest of Australia and New Zealand.'

AAT Kings and Down Under Tours will work to better coordinate schedules, tour packages and strategy, but both companies stressed the new partnership was guaranteed to be 'business as usual' for all partners.

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Travel reforms to bring Australia closer

New Zealand’s tourism industry is supporting a package of proposed reforms designed to make trans-Tasman travel even easier.

New Zealand and Australia provide the largest single source of visitors for each country. More than 1.2 million Aussies crossed the ditch in the year to June 2014 while just over 1 million Kiwis visited Australia.

'The implementation of the TTF reforms would unlock further growth from Australia by making travel across the Tasman even easier and more affordable,' says Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) chief executive Chris Roberts.

The current bilateral arrangements between Australia and New Zealand lag behind border agreements elsewhere in the world, like those for the 26 countries within Europe’s Schengen zone, between the USA and Canada, and between the UK and Ireland, Roberts says.

The four proposed reforms are:

  1. A domestic-like travel experience at international airports in Australia and New Zealand through the streamlining of border formalities on exit and entry
  2. Cutting the Australian Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) to AUD$25 (currently AUD$55) to encourage more travel between both countries
  3. Opening additional points of entry at secondary airports in Australia to encourage more travel
  4. Developing common visitor visas to encourage more international visitors to combine both countries in one trip

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Travel awards sell out

The TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards 2014 have just been declared a sell-out, says The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand’s chief executive officer Andrew Olsen.

‘If you haven’t got a ticket, you’ll have to hear about it afterwards,’ he says.

The awards are being held on Saturday, August 30 at the Pullman Auckland and Olsen says industry support has been overwhelming. ‘The first year is not without its moments of discovery and the industry has adopted a wonderful, collaborative approach.’

He advises that people should not be late for the event. ‘We will be starting with a surprise.’

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Manu Samoa All Blacks match will sell fast

Agents have been advised to book clients early if they wish to attend the historic All Backs - Manu Samoa game in July next year. That was the message at the Samoa Roadshow event at The Floating Pavilion, Auckland yesterday.

Fasitau Ula, Samoan Tourism Authority (STA) advises that considerable interest has already been received and it appears that the game in Samoa definitely sell out. Accommodation is expected to be at a premium. Ula says Samoa is looking to give people more reasons to travel so STA continues to push events such as this major rugby game. Other events being highlighted include the annual swim series in July - August and the half Samoa iron man around the same time.

Last night’s Samoa roadshow event registered 180 rsvps, a testament of the popularity of the destination and the desire of the trade to find out more about it. Exhibiting resorts at the roadshow say their bookings in recent times also point to a strong year for Samoa.

Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa opened on 1 April has had an incredibly busy start, averaging 80% occupancy. Jessica Lea, Coconuts Travel Marketing, reports strong interest from the consumers at the Flight Centre show over the weekend. ‘This reflects the need for family friendly resorts in Samoa,’ she says.

Seabreeze has also had a strong season, continuing to be popular with kiwis. Next year the minimum age of children at the resort from 15 (increased from 13)

 

Susan McGee, Le Vasa Resort; Ray Aucott, Pack Ya Bags; Derek Webb, Stevensons at Manase and Nicola Segal, Virgin Australia Liz Pirie, Denise Fowler and Anna Brown, all from The Travel Brokers Glenis Hogg, Stephen Hilton, Gaby Rocard and Margaret Jones, all Tandem Travel
Jessica Lea, Saletoga Sands Resort and Michelle Savusa, Harvey World Travel Botany Anne Radonich, Seabreeze Resort; Daniel Whitehouse, Flight Centre Parnell and Hylda Bloomfield, Air New Zealand

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France returns to the Eurail Select Pass

Rail Plus reports that the return of French rail operator SNCF to the Eurail Select Pass in April this year is rekindling New Zealand travellers’ interest in one of the key European rail passes.

The move coincided with changes to the Eurail Select Pass, with a single pass now offering unlimited travel through four adjoining European countries (the previous three and five country passes eliminated).

The four-country Eurail Select Pass offers a choice of five, six, eight, 10 or 15 days travel within a two-month period (days do not need to be consecutive). Adjoining countries must be bordering and be linked by a direct, not through another country, train or shipping line.
Contact Rail Plus on 09 377 5415 or visit railplus.co.nz

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Borghetti takes close look at A350

By Peter Clark
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti wasn’t giving anything away as to what the airline might choose as a replacement for its B777-300ERs and A330-200s when he took a detailed look at the Airbus A350-900 XWB recently.
The aircraft was making a world tour when it was in Sydney on 5 August and Borghetti was on board just before it departed for Auckland. He was being shown around by Isabelle Floret, Sen VP Airbus Sales, Sydney.
But he made it clear that evaluations had resumed and that there was a timetable for reaching a decision, while not disclosing when that choice would be made. On the flight of the A350 across the Tasman, there were several Virgin Australia staff evaluating its operation and lay out.

John Borghetti, CEO Virgin Australia inspects the new A350 with Isabelle Floret, senior VP Pacific Airbus

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Airbus A350 walk through

The latest A350 XWB aircraft from Airbus is making its way around the world on its certification tour. In Auckland on August 6, members of the Airbus team escorted local media throughout the innovative plane at Auckland Airport.

As well as the latest technology systems delivering a 25% reduction in fuel burn and operating costs compared to previous generation competing aircraft and reduction in CO2 emissions, the design features include an extra wide body cross section; touch screen IFE; large overhead compartments - apparently big enough to take a full size roller bag; numerous temperature control zones, draft free air conditioning and 6,000ft cabin pressure altitude.

For business class passengers, seats in the 1 x 2 x 1 configuration cabin feature lie flat beds and individual push button back massage options.

The A350 leaves Auckland for Santiago, then onto Sao Paulo, Moscow and Helsinki.

In the hot seats of the Airbus A350 is Senior VP Pacific for Airbus, Isabelle Floret and Airbus Test Pilot, Jean-Michel Roy

Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport chief executive (left) and Charles Berryman, Auckland Airport Iwi Relations manager (far right) with Isabelle Floret, senior VP Pacific for Airbus and Jean-Michel Roy, Airbus test pilot with their new All Blacks shirt and rugby ball.

The Airbus A350 parked at Auckland Airport Inside the business class cabin. The LED lighting throughout the aircraft offers over 16 million different colours and an infinite number of combinations with a soothing effect with the aim of reducing jetlag
At the control hub, Junie Fredrick from Airbus keeps a constant eye on the entire aircraft for the certification Business class seats with easy to use seat controls that include lumbar massage points
Economy class with the LED lighting

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Travelling Accor's World

Over 500 guests from the travel industry, corporate and conferencing sectors travelled the world last night at the annual World of Accor at the Pullman, Auckland.

Forty Accor representatives from around New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific, Asia, UK, Europe and the Americas showed up to update and educate delegates on their market offerings.

The event coincided with Accor celebrating 20 years of business in New Zealand.

Garth Simmons, vice-president New Zealand, Pacific Islands & Japan with Accor, feels the situation in New Zealand is ‘reasonably buoyant.’

He says the low season is still an issue but he sees plenty to be positive about as the company celebrates 20 years here.

>>ProMag Publishing event manager Ally Eastaugh caught up with Chris Lethbridge, New Zealand regional manager, Emirates

 

Blair Jagusch, Agent 86 Events; Louise Frend, Tourism Western Australia Anthony Bodle, FCM Travel Solutions; Dominique Rennell, cievents; Jessica Carlson, Accor New Zealand & South Pacific Lisa Watson and Jess Ogg, GO Conference & Incentive
Dinna Sansalvador and Estelle Charmichael, Auckland Convention Bureau Rowena McCarron and Kathleen Magon, Flight Centre Product Carla Bowring and Jane Hawkins, Tandem Travel
Tina Rutherford and Ruby Romanos, Negociants Karlene Dallow and Nicole Hardy, Air NZ Grabaseat Kim Poole and Adam Taylor-Eruera with Jessica Carlson, Accor New Zealand & South Pacific

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