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.’
Hot Off The Press
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.
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.’
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.
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
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
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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