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.
Hot Off The Press
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.’
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)
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
By Peter ClarkVirgin 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.
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