Auckland Airport, China Southern Airlines and Al Brown have joined forces to inject a taste of New Zealand into the China Southern inflight experience.
The announcement was made at a launch party held at SKYCITY Auckland’s Bar Twentyone yesterday.
The initiative will see New Zealand- themed inflight menus on China Southern’s Auckland to Guangzhou services.
Tan Wan Geng, president and CEO of China Southern Airlines, says China Southern is the fourth biggest airline in the world, and is committed to innovating and supporting the route to Auckland and New Zealand.
‘Although this initiative is focused in the first instance on our Auckland to Guangzhou services, in the future we hope to extend this further by bringing more international elements across our entire network.’
Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport chief executive, says the announcement is a wonderful opportunity to deepen the relationship between China and New Zealand.
‘We’re excited by the opportunity to bring a taste of New Zealand to passengers coming to New Zealand the first moment they step on the plane.’
Littlewood says the announcement also forms a strong part of Auckland Airport’s ‘Four Seasons, Five Senses’ project – a partnership with the New Zealand government to drive the growth in high valued Chinese tourists into New Zealand in the shoulder seasons.
‘We want to drive tourism growth by raising awareness within China of the unique and iconic activities that New Zealand has to offer, engaging the five senses of travellers with a focus on high quality food and wine, cultural and adventure experiences.’
Al Brown, celebrity chef, will be in charge of redesigning the China Southern Airlines inflight menu for its Aucklandto Guangzhou services, as well as recommendations and training of the inflight chefs and crew.
The meals will also include background information to tell the story behind the New Zealand produce featured on the menu, such as a map highlighting the area of New Zealand the produce was sourced from.
Brown says he revels at the chance to champion and promote New Zealand product on the international stage.
‘Using food and wine as a vehicle is a very compelling way to tell the New Zealand story. As a chef I relish the opportunity and the challenge of creating great tasting dishes at 35,000 feet.’
Hot Off The Press
Fiji took out the regional stand of the year award at the Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE 2014) this week, with New Caledonia named runner up.
Judge Nigel Pilkington, senior vice president of SKAL International, says Fiji was well branded but still retained an individual feel among the various stands. ‘You couldn’t walk through the area without being approached and they had a nice touch with the foot spa being offered.’
Pilkington says New Caledonia had a nice mix of modern technology and a personal approach.
Tahiti and Business Events Australia were both highly commended.
In the individual category, Starwood Hotels & Resorts was named winner.
‘I walked past the booth twice and both times I was approached by different people who asked how they could help me. That makes PAICE really work.’
Runner up Destination Asia had the same proactive approach to the show, Pilkington says. ‘The representative’s eyes were up, not down. She was engaging and the stand was bright and clear.’
Singapore Tourism Board will hold a three city roadshow in Auckland during January 2015, with the key objective of promoting stopovers in the city (and encouraging that stopover market to stay longer).
Sharon Lam, area director Oceania was at PAICE 2014 this week, and says many New Zealanders are still unaware of new and exciting attractions like Gardens in the Bay, Singapore Flyer and Universal Studios.
‘With Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines increasing capacity, there is no reason people shouldn’t stay in the destination longer.’
Lam says the travel agents roadshow will visit Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, with firm dates to be announced over the next two weeks.
'Find what you seek' is the new campaign recently launched by India Tourism to entice travel to India. At the first of a six centre roadshow around NZ, Exotic Holidays in conjunction with India Tourism took agents on a whirlwind insight into India and what the new campaign means. 'It's all about what is the traveller looking for', says India Tourism representative Mr. Vibhava Tripathi. 'Do they want to focus on festivals - every day there is a festival of some description happening in the country; are they interested in Yoga and want to experience the many retreats we have; or is it about historical and religious sites? We want to help guide the traveller to the best experience for them.'During the roadshow, Exotic Holidays director, Rahul Sharma announced that the agent incentive for a place on the April famil to India which is open to the top 10 agents selling India through Exotic, has now been increased to the top 15 agents, through the generosity of India Tourism.
India Tourism is exhibiting at PAICE today. Industry visitors can register to attend the exhibition on level 5 of SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre from 9am - 4pm.
Liz Light, travel writer and photo jourmnalist, is working with Exotic Holidays to produce two small group escorted tours to India in 2015. In the footsteps of Buddha follows the shrines of Buddhism, ending in the Buddhist state of Sikkim in the Himalayas. Remnants of the British Raj focuses on the historical cities of British rule - Delhi, Shimla, Darjeeling and Calcutta. Details will be released shortly.
Vee Duke, Christine de la Cour, Lenora Pudney, Deepan Somaiya and Meeta Somaiya from Tandem Travel, Smales Farm Auckland
Honoured and humble, those were the emotions felt by Real Journeys Tony McQuilkin, after being presented with the Sir Jack Newman Award at the 2014 Tourism Industry Awards in Wellington on November 4. Meanwhile James Fitzgerald, founder and managing director of Rotorua Canopy Tours, won the PATA NZ Trust Young Tourism Leader Award, and Skyline Queenstown was recipient of the Service IQ Visitor Experience Award.The Awards were presented at the Wellington Airport Summit Dinner, held at Mac’s Brewery Function Centre in Wellington.The longstanding Sir Jack Newman Award recognises an individual who has made a long and outstanding contribution to the New Zealand tourism industry. On receiving his award, McQuilkin said that to be recognised by your industry peers is as good as it gets. Queenstown-based McQuilkin started working with Fiordland Travel (now Real Journeys) in 1980, helped established Queenstown tourism promotion initiatives, which evolved into Destination Queenstown, is the chairman of the Queenstown Trails Trust and was a strong advocate for the preservation of the TSS Earnslaw.James Fitzgerald said he had chosen to work in tourism when he left school. 'I chose the industry, I studied it at university, then when my friends headed off to be lawyers and accountants I got my bus licence and drove passengers to the West Coast. I was 22 then and it’s still the best job I ever had.'
Jeroen Jongejans, Dive! Tutukaka; Craig Wilson, Quality Tourism Development Ltd.
<< Raewyn Tse, Positively Wellington Venues; Chris Roberts, TIA; Emily Byrne, TIA
>>Tourism Industry award winners Tony McQuilkin, Real Journeys (Sir Jack Newman Award); James Fitzgerald, Rotorua Canopy Tours (Young Tourism Leader Award).
Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner left Auckland on October 16 on its inaugural service to Perth.
Air New Zealand and Tourism Western Australia invited trade along for the ride with Rachel Pedder, product and pricing manager Tasman, Air New Zealand and Louise Frend, marketing manager NZ, Tourism Western Australia escorting a famil of WA attractions.‘We want the group to see what there is to offer here, so in five days we plan to take them around Perth and Fremantle on a culinary tour of locally sourced seasonal produce,’ says Frend.
‘They will go on a walking tour of Fremantle and the Kings Park, catch the ferry across to Rottnest Island - with bike and segway activities included. There will be helicopter transfers from Margaret River town to the Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, then it’s off to Swan Valley for wine tasting, a coffee experience and chocolate sampling.’
Operators from Sunshine Coast were spreading the destination’s message around the New Zealand travel trade this week, with tabel top presentations (and some Queensland hospitality) in both Auckland and Christchurch.The mission coincided with the launch of the destination’s new advertising campaign to New Zealand industry and media, encouraging Kiwis to ‘join the vactaion migration.’ More in the Friday 24 October issue of TRAVELinc Memo.
Alka Thapar from Europcar invited industry to Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian’s production the iconic musical Sound of Music at Auckland's Civic Theatre on October 9. Most of the invitees were avid fans of the movie and knew all the songs, including My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi and Sixteen Going on Seventeen, so when the opportunity to meet some of the cast at an after party was announced, there was another hum of excitement amongst the troops.
The show continues in Auckland till October 26, then heads to China for 55 shows in 10 different cities.
<<Lilliy Hutch, GO Holidays couldn't resist the sweeping staircase used during the show
>>Taya Rangihika, waited patiently for 'Maria' to sign her programme
Cast member Baroness Schraeder (Taryn Sudding), 2nd left, with Nicola Thomas and Kelly Showler, Accent on Travel and Nicole Showler, GO Holidays
Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have confirmed January 6, 2015 as the launch date for their alliance, with codeshare flights going on sale on both airlines’ services between New Zealand and Singapore on September 25.The alliance will see the Star Alliance carriers operating one return service each per day on the Auckland – Singapore route and Singapore Airlines operating a daily return service between Christchurch and Singapore. NZ customers will have codeshare connectivity to a further 50 destinations on the SQ and MI network throughout South East Asia, the United Kingdom, Europe and South Africa and Singapore Airlines customers will in turn have access to nearly 40 codeshare destinations in the Air New Zealand network.
At a industry function at The Botanist in Auckland on September 22, Anthony Price, NZ general manager sales, corporate and distribution sales, says Singapore Airlines is a strong and natural alliance partner. 'A significant amount of business comes from trade reationships and we will be launching incentives into the market over the coming weeks. Our trade partners will be briefed on upcoming fam trips to SE Asia and a new e-training module for consultants.'Edwin Chiang, Singapore Airlines general manager says the alliance will make for more seamless travel. 'It will be all the same product from Auckland to Singapore year round, with a seasonal aircraft change to a A380 from October 28.' Under the alliance Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ goal is to increase their existing capacity between New Zealand and Singapore by up to 30% year round over time.The schedule from January 6, 2015
Departure Time (local) Arrival Time (local) Total Flying Hours Operated BySIN – AKL NZ281/SQ4281 08:50 23:45 09:55 NZSQ285/NZ3285 20:50 11:45+1 09:55 SQ AKL – SINNZ282/SQ4282 01:15 06:45 10:30 NZSQ286/NZ3286 13:30 19:00 10:30 SQ SIN – CHCSQ297/NZ3297 19:45 10:40+1 09:55 SQ CHC – SIN SQ298/NZ3298 12:00 17:40 10:40 SQ
United Travel’s three ‘major pillars’ were at the heart of the company’s frontliners’ conference in Auckland over the weekend. John Willson, general manager at Stella Travel Services, says cruising, unique destinations, and SME (small to medium enterprise) corporate travel, were all focused on at the event The conference, with the theme Wild On, started with a welcome function at the Crowne Plaza Auckland. During the night, delegates got into teams and constructed 14 push bikes, which were then given away to the Child Cancer Society – United Travel’s charity. The Saturday, with booth sessions at Crowne Plaza, was all about education and the weekend wrapped up with a black tie awards dinner at SKYCITY Auckland. Over 190 delegates, including frontliners and preferred partners, took part in the weekend.
Travel industry suppliers from Ireland will present their wares during a trade workshop at Pullman Hotel, Auckland on 24 November, starting 5.30pm.
Darragh Walshe, who represents Tourism Ireland in New Zealand, says that since the last Ireland workshops were held here in 2012 tourism to the destination has grown exponentially.
‘During The Gathering Ireland 2013, visitation to the Emerald Isle grew by 21% and the first six months of 2014 has shown another eight percent growth year on year,’ says Walshe.
‘This year we aim to showcase the best of Ireland and convey the hospitality Ireland is known for,’ says Tourism Ireland’s manager Australia and New Zealand, Diane Butler.
‘The workshops will be open to all travel consultants wanting to learn more about this multi-faceted destination and how to match holiday experiences to their clientele,’ she says. ‘Consultants will have the opportunity to earn a place on a familiarisation to Ireland with airline partner Emirates.’
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.
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.
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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