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Murray Tanner - RIP

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 10:14

Travel industry stalwart Murray Tanner, who served as a director of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) for 18 years from 1993 to 2011, passed away this week.
He was the legal advisor dedicated to United Travel for the past 17 years and before that with various entities such as Focus, Russell & Somers and Passport United Holidays. He was named chairman of Passport Holdings in 1997.  Murray retired from United Travel four years ago.
Long time colleague John Willson says Murray also helped set up a small legal company, Chambers Craig Jarvis.
‘He was a noted trumpeter and flugelhorn player and was renowned for giving a seranade at conferences he attended. He really played at any opportunity and attended all of the festivals he could.
‘He was even a trumpet player on the old Come On TV show with Peter Sinclair and was the leader of the Murray Tanner Quartet, playing at various venues and at Summer Jazz in the domain.’
Music was not the only area Murray Tanner exceled. Willson says he once represented Auckland in rugby and he was passionate about golf and tennis both of which he played into his 80s.
Willson says that whenever Murray travelled offshore to conferences he tended to ‘challenge the travel manager.’
‘Let’s say that was because of his perfectionist wishes’.
TAANZ chief executive Andrew Olsen says such was the span of Murray’s contribution that he served on the Board of six TAANZ presidents.
‘Murray was a gentleman, decently mannered in an old fashioned way, acutely intelligent, dry of wit and legally impeccable in his contributions on the vast number of issues that confronted travel agents and travel industry over that long period of time. Our sincere condolences go out to the Tanner family and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.’

Tourism Australia’s $40m push

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 10:11

Tourism Australia is preparing to launch a new $40 million marketing campaign touting the aquatic and coastal experiences on offer around the country in an attempt to better compete against rival destinations like the United States, South Africa and France to attract international tourists.
The new multi-platform campaign, to be launched early next year, will be funded on a similar level to the successful Restaurant Australia campaign based around food and wine experiences that launched 18 months ago.
That campaign has already boosted spending on food and wine by close to $700 million a year, which is 40% higher than the two year target of $500 million.
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan says the aquatic and coastal campaign, which includes a three-part documentary series filmed by David Attenborough that is expected to air early next year in more than 130 countries, was designed to play to the country’s strengths.
‘It has strong appeal in our western and eastern markets,’ O’Sullivan says.
‘A lot of these assets are in the regional parts of the country as well so it addresses the issue of dispersal [beyond the capital cities].’
Promotional materials for the campaign, which will include virtual reality and 360 mobile assets as well as a new broadcast ad and other print and digital materials, have been shot in locations such as Rottnest Island in Western Australia, Katherine in the Northern Territory and the Three Capes Walk in Tasmania.
(source: Sydney Morning Herald)

Out on the street at Dreamtime

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 09:49

Give people a glass of champagne and a spray can and how can they not have fun?
That’s a question Adrian Doyle is answering by running street art workshops at Blender Studios, where visitors create their own ‘masterpiece’, using either pre-made or original stencils. It’s an activity best combined with a tour of the city’s street art, guided by Doyle or another member of the Blender team.
Numbers for both tours and workshops are growing steadily and it puts a wry smile on Doyle’s lips that an art form of dubious legality is now attracting so much legitimate attention. After all one person’s street art is another’s graffiti and there is plenty of the latter on show, along with highly regarded and commissioned works, during a tour of Melbourne’s laneways.
‘Melbourne has created its own identity through street art,’ says Doyle. ‘Finally we are great at something, and it’s illegal.’
He says the tours and art activities at his Blender Lane studios now attract honeymooners, families, and corporate and conference groups. New Zealand delegates at the Dreamtime 2015 incentive travel showcase recently tried their hand at spray painting designs and heard that Blender Lane can also be turned into a private dinner venue.
But talking to Doyle gives a sense that what he enjoys most of all is having school groups on his tours and in his studio. ’I never thought we would have 20,000 school kids come through here a year and I would get to tell each one of them that their parents were not necessarily right.’
That sense of being outside the establishment and on the edge gives the street art community a freedom and life of its own. Along with the artists themselves have come ‘spotters’ - photographers who document the street scene and report it through social media – often competing to be the first to get a new work up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
David Russell, who is often employed as a guide by Blender, is a former graffiti artist turned art photographer and art agent and strives to be the best in the field – he uses his relationships to get close and personal shots of the current artists and their work.
He wouldn’t class himself as a spotter, especially since his own work is in demand and displayed alongside Doyle’s and others at Blender studios. But he does think spotting has significantly added to the appeal of street art.
‘Street art is where it is because of social media,’ he says.
Russell says graffiti, as we know it, started in the 80s, street art in the 1990s. ‘Some of it is low brow and some of it is high brow, but it gives people a political platform. Street art discusses things that the media sometimes dumbs down.’
In the street art scene, virtually anything goes. Some artists’ works have relatively long lives (often depending on the regard the community has for the artist) – but others are ‘smashed by graffiti’ and painted over before much time lapses.
‘When it comes to street art, it is what it is,’ says Russell.

Vanuatu to hit road in NZ next April

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 09:03

A roadshow aimed at New Zealand travel agents will be part of a major campaign to promote Vanuatu
next year.
Jacquie Carson, New Zealand representative of the Vanuatu Tourism Office, says the roadshow will be in Christchurch on 18 April; Wellington on 19 April; and Auckland on 20 April.
‘This will be a great opportunity for agents to speak with suppliers from Vanuatu and update their knowledge on the destination,’ says Carson.
She says this is a part of a major campaign next year, starting from February.
‘The campaign will include Vanuatu’s first brand TV advert, along with a strong focus on digital and print media,’ says Carson.
She adds that a trade site is being developed to provide an information hub for agents.
The activity coincides with Air Vanuatu’s offer of a $50 plus taxes fare to Vanuatu for Kiwi travel agents, and a $199 plus taxes fare for their companion. (As reported in TRAVELinc Memo 20 Nov 2015)
The latest issue of TRAVELinc, with a cover story on Vanuatu, is arriving on agents’ desks this week.

Alliances foundation for growth

Monday, 14 December 2015 12:23

Air New Zealand’s Air China alliance will allow the airline to grow its China business by 25%, according to Stephen Jones, chief strategy network and alliance, Air New Zealand. Speaking at Friday’s gala dinner celebrating the arrival of the inaugural Air China flight on Thursday evening, Jones said alliances have been the foundation for Air New Zealand’s growth.

‘China is our second largest inbound market and this alliance will allow us to grow out China business by 25%,’ he said. ‘New Zealand had 335,000 Chinese visitors last year, up from 230,000 the year previous – up 30% year on year.

‘With growth comes opportunity, and responsibility to manage the growth sustainably.’

Flight CA783 was greeted on Thursday evening by Paula Bennett, New Zealand Associate Tourism Minister, Len Brown Mayor of Auckland, Qu Guangzhou Charge d’ Affairs Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Zealand, Adrian Littlewood chief executive of Auckland Airport, Rui Jie Air China Australia and New Zealand general manager, and Stephen Jones Air New Zealand chief strategy networks and alliances officer.

Under the alliance, Air China operates a daily direct A330-200 service between Auckland and Beijing and Air New Zealand continues to operate daily B787-9 Dreamliner services between Auckland and Shanghai.

The alliance also allows Air New Zealand to tap into 11 codeshare destinations within China as well as offering Air China passengers access to Air New Zealand’s network including domestic New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and South America.




HOT: Beijing the next stopover destination for Kiwis

Friday, 11 December 2015 13:34

As Air New Zealand and Air China kicked off their direct flights from Auckland to Beijing yesterday, House of Travel is predicting Beijing as an up and coming stopover destination for New Zealand holidaymakers.
House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas says the visa-free option, gateway into Europe and attraction of Beijing as a tourist destination make the city a great stopover spot for Kiwis.
‘New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit China if they are staying less than 72 hours, making it a perfect stopover for Kiwis on their way to Europe,’ he says.
‘A number of New Zealanders have the Great Wall of China on their bucket list and a three day stopover in Beijing allows them to tick this off their list, as well as visiting other famous sites such as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.’
Thomas says the new route will result in a 25% increase in air capacity between New Zealand and China which is timely, given that 2015 saw a 20% increase in Kiwis travelling to China.  
‘In recent years we have seen growth in direct flights between China and Australia, and now that is being replicated here in New Zealand. We believe we will continue to see growth in flights in and out of China, from both a business and leisure perspective.’

OTAs sell 85% more ancillaries and Fare Families in 2015

Friday, 11 December 2015 13:32

In the first three quarters of this year, Amadeus IT Group saw an 85% increase in the amount of ancillaries being sold via travel agencies.
This trend suggests that online travel agencies (OTAs) are becoming a big player in the merchandising market.
Not long ago, ancillary sales by OTAs were negligible.
Amadeus has seen cases in which 15 out of every 100 air bookings by OTAs include an ancillary sale, and that figure rises to 30 or 40 for certain carriers.
In addition, there are three times more OTAs with integrated airline ancillaries in 2015 compared to 2014.

Tourism operators look to youth and environment

Friday, 11 December 2015 11:40

Renewing its focus on attracting more people to the industry and protecting New Zealand’s environment were two of the main points of discussion presented by the Tourism Export Council at its symposium on Wednesday.
Speaking at Auckland’s Heritage Hotel, TEC chief executive Lesley Immink outlined the need to promote tourism as a career pathway for young New Zealanders.
She says with the help of the Young TEC organisation (made up of industry members under 36 years of age), and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, TEC is planning to reach out to young New Zealanders with a new Tourism Futures programme.
The programme will involve increasing awareness among school age students throughout the country through educational sessions and marketing campaigns.
As well as focusing on the youth, TEC will also be implementing a Choose Clean Water Project, beginning 10 January 2016, where the organisation will be working with four students from Massey University to ‘tell the story of New Zealand’s water’.
Video footage will be produced from 25 lakes and rivers across the country, documenting the impact of pollution on our waterways.
Ultimately, the project aims to spread awareness of the plight of water quality in New Zealand, and gain 10,000 signatures to present to Parliament to review freshwater legislation.
‘It’s more important than ever that we maintain our natural environment, so we still have such a beautiful asset for the next 50 to 100 years at least,’ says Immink.
The symposium included presentations delivered by: Jason Hill, ATEED; Lesley Immink, Tourism Export Council; Paul Yeo, Tourism New Zealand; Chris Roberts, Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand, as well as guest speakers Mark Gee, astro photographer and Julia Hartley-Moore, private investigator.

Melbourne inspiration for Kiwi incentive organisers

Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:12

Inspiring top achievers with experiences they can not get ‘off the shelf’ to ensure they stay with a company is becoming even more significant in today’s competitive marketplace, says Jasmine Lim, director, corporate meetings, incentives and membership with the Melbourne Convention Bureau.
Melbourne and Victoria are currently showing off some their own most inspirational experiences to a group of New Zealand incentive travel planners and managers during  a familiarisation programme as part of Dreamtime 2015.
Lim says the plan is to present some of the iconic sites, but with a different slant, as well as some of the unknown yet special product that simply couldn’t be accessed by a company without the help and knowledge of a bureau and/or destination management company.
‘Companies need to inspire their staff not only to stay but also to achieve more. In the direct sales sector and financial services and insurance, for example, a lot of people are jumping ship and moving to other employers, so the retention strategy is getting more and more important. We find that the activity is about rewarding people but the objective is all about retention.’
The New Zealand group was transported by helicopter from Essendon Airport to a private mansion, Campbell Bay House, where they met celebrity chef Sasha Meier and his team, who presented a hands on lunchtime extravaganza. The Kiwi guests were invited to roll their sleeves up and get invoved in the food preparation or just sit back and relax with a glass of wine. Abalone, calamari, snapper, crayfish, cheese, fresh salad, poached pears and more were on the menu.
The incentive planners then headed back to the helicopter and were flown over the Great Ocean Road to the famous 12 Apostles National Park, before dinner at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. The programme was organised by Big Stick Adventures.
Other experiences on the famil programme, which continues today, are a walking tour of Melbourne street art, lunch at Central Pier, a summer barbecue dinner at Federation Square, and a visit to the Crittenden Estate Wine Centre.
Jenny Aitken, country manager New Zealand with Tourism Australia, says the Dreamtime programme – both in Mebourne and previously Adelaide – has been consistent with the business events stategy in this market.
‘Our aim always is to differentiate Australia and demonstrate our capabilities while showcasing an outside of the box experience.’