Hot Topics

Tramada Systems, Umapped integration

Thursday, 21 June 2018 23:19

Travel agents using Tramada Systems’ travel technology platform, Tramada®, can now engage leisure and corporate customers using Umapped’s interactive, media-rich itineraries that feature personalised offers and content, live updates, two-way messaging, real-time chat, and more.

Emirates quick to get agents up on Bali famils

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 00:32

Conducting four trade famils in the first week of operation illustrates how importantly Emirates regards its early education of travel agents when it comes to its Auckland – Denpasar (Bali) – Dubai service, says the airline’s regional manager New Zealand, Chris Lethbridge.

Remember why we do this, says exec finalist

Thursday, 14 June 2018 23:11

Remember why you started in the travel industry in the first place – that’s the tip on how to have a strong beginning in the sector from Danielle Scott, customer experience manager with House of Travel.

 

Scott is a finalist in the Best Young Travel Agency Executive – Retail category of the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards having first joined HOT in the product team after leaving university in 2016. ‘Sometimes we get so busy being busy we forget that this travel opportunity for our customers could be the highlight of their year and that they get the same excitement to experience a different country and culture that we do. That’s why we do what we do. ‘I think it is good to remember this during every interaction, to ensure we are helping hype the anticipation and the excitement for the customer.’

 

Scott manages the Voice of Customer programme at House of Travel and much of her time is spent interpreting and utilising customer feedback to help improve the products HOT provides, the systems it utilises and the overall customer experience at House of Travel. ‘The consistent trend with our customers is that their expectation of what constitutes great service continues to rise year on year and their tolerance of substandard service lessens. ‘Since implementing our Voice of Customer programme 18 months ago we have seen significant improvement in what were already exceptionally high NPS (Net Promoter Scores).

AKL predicts growth despite fuel price rises

Thursday, 14 June 2018 22:37

Auckland Airport is predicting international passenger growth will continue at a rate of at least 4% per year over the next five years, despite increasing fuel prices, a hotel industry gathering in Auckland heard yesterday.

Collab key to NDC’s successful future

Monday, 11 June 2018 23:21

If the New Distribution Capability is going to ‘take off’ and reach its full potential, it needs to develop from an airline / IATA initiative to a collaborative effort from all sides of the value chain, according to technology company Amadeus.

The Travel Corporation gets tough on plastic

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 22:41

The Travel Corporation’s New Zealand offce is well on the way to becoming plastic free, just as the global company has announced that it will phase out all single-use plastics over the next five years.

Register for Viking sessions

Thursday, 24 May 2018 22:19

Viking has announced the launch of free info sessions in Auckland on 3 July 2018 and Christchurch on 5 July 2018. Viking experts will present on the benefits of Viking for both river and ocean cruises. The sessions go for one hour and are held throughout the day and evening in each location. Travel agents are encouraged to attend with their clients and can reserve seating featuring signage with their agency branding, or to increase product knowledge and get the latest Viking news. Visit bit.ly/VikingAuckland for Auckland reservations, bit.ly/VikingChristchurch for Christchurch reservations and agents can reserve seats with agency signage by emailing infosessions@vikingcruises.com

Mitigating travel’s ‘negatives’

Thursday, 10 May 2018 22:24

Restricting visitor numbers (Ibiza) and upping fines for bad behaviour by tourists (Venice) are among strategies introduced at European tourist hotspots in recent years as locals kick back against growing pressure on natural resources and ‘over-tourism’. But at Africa’s Travel Indaba this week, tourism stakeholders were encouraged to ‘think holistically’ about mitigating the industry’s negative impacts and encourage guests to be part of responsible tourism.

New pod hotel in the south

Monday, 23 April 2018 23:16

A new, low cost hotel capable of accommodating hundreds of visitors a night has opened in Queenstown.

The five story Jucy Snooze, is a 276 bed, pod hotel expected to provide welcome relief from the growing shortage of accommodation in the region.

Inbound in force at key event

Monday, 09 April 2018 07:06

The record response to an inbound trade event being held in Auckland this week reflects the positive overall state of the industry, organisers say.

More than 120 inbound operator (IBO) senior staff from 52 companies will attend the Regional Tourism New Zealand event at Heritage Auckland’s Grand Tea Room on Wednesday and Thursday.

Challenges ahead for cruising

Thursday, 05 April 2018 05:51

New Zealand’s cruise future is bright, despite existing challenges, a strong contingent of SKAL Auckland members and guests heard yesterday.

Debbie Summers, executive director of IDNZ and chair of NZ Cruise, says some 350,00 cruise passengers are forecast to arrive in New Zealand in 2018-2019 – a massive jump from 200,000 in the past season. There are expected to be 1000 port calls, up from 791.

Kiwis to New Caledonia rise

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 21:01

New Caledonia Tourism (NCTPS) has reported a 12% increase in arrivals from New Zealand travellers throughout 2017.

The country maintains its status as the fourth largest market for New Caledonia.

NZ hotel projects on table

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 20:44

Much needed new hotel inventory in New Zealand is being held back by commercial issues around their construction.

This is despite investors and developers keen to take advantage of favourable business conditions, according to one of the country’s leading hospitality and tourism industry consultants.

New name for Plan a Cruise

Thursday, 15 March 2018 06:11

CLIA’s Plan a Cruise Month will have a name change this year. The October campaign will be renamed Choose Cruise and will have an increased focus on consumer awareness.

This is in line with the organisation developing new consumer promotional material for agents to use throughout the year.

Macao bridge to help Kiwi trade

Monday, 12 March 2018 22:15

The opening of the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge expected late this year will make Macao an even more important inclusion and add on to a visit to Hong Kong by Kiwis, according to Richard Froggatt, the New Zealand representative for the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).

The office has a number of initiatives lined up to increase the destination’s profile this year including a media trip on right now and a product managers’ famil in April.

Hawaii's challenges post 2017

Monday, 26 February 2018 22:41

Despite record numbers of Kiwis to Hawaii last year, the destination faces three major challenges for 2018.

According to Roy Morgan research conducted in August-September last year, two top barriers for consumers are Hawaii being too expensive to get to and too expensive to stay.

More Kiwis heading to Tuscany

Thursday, 22 February 2018 04:58

More Kiwis travelling to Tuscany, and staying longer, was the impetus for the Italian region to visit New Zealand for the first time this week.

Alberto Peruzzini, managing director of the Tuscany Tourist Board, says the number of New Zealand visitors increased by 5% in 2017 over 2016, with room nights increasing by 9% to 100,000.

Emirates' new NZ service

Monday, 19 February 2018 20:38

Emirates is launching a new non-stop daily service from Auckland to Dubai via Bali, starting from 14 June 2018.

The new service will be the only year-round flight between Bali and Auckland.

xtravel success in Queenstown

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 21:12

Recognising each other’s strengths, looking for points of difference and not having a proprietary attitude towards clients has all helped lead to success for central Otago (Queenstown) based xtravel.

Victoria (Tori) Keating and Niki Davies both had wide experience in the trade before forming the broker partnership and now (with contractor Kate Rule-Munro) operate a successful brokering business, which includes oering its own specialised tours.

Cruise & youth - can they mix?

Thursday, 01 February 2018 04:19

The youth market could be the next frontier for the cruise sector – with 18 to 35s yet embracing that form of holiday.

Sarah Bedford, country manager of STA Travel, says the key is to have cruise product designed for youth and she welcomes developments such as U by Uniworld (offered by The Travel Corporation).

Adventure World NHA's new GSA

Monday, 22 January 2018 21:15

Adventure World has been named as the exclusive GSA for US-based wildlife small group operator Natural Habitat Adventures.

Working in partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), Natural Habitat Adventures has worked in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since its founding in 1985.

Kiwis on international tourism

Thursday, 18 January 2018 05:08

 The latest Mood of the Nation survey, commissioned by Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Industry Aotearoa was conducted late last year.

The data shows most New Zealanders view international tourism in a positive light.

Online booking mishaps

Monday, 15 January 2018 22:12

Slowly but surely, travel agents are coming back into their own, says Peter Cox, of Golf Encounters.

And he says publicity about bad experiences with people booking online is part of the reason.

Kaikōura gets SH1 back

Monday, 18 December 2017 20:33

 

New Zealand’s tourism industry is celebrating the reopening of State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura last week. 

‘Tourism Industry Aotearoa and our members are hugely grateful for the enormous effort that has gone into rebuilding this important visitor route so quickly,’ says Advocacy manager Steve Hanrahan. 

Tourism industry shows NZ the love

Thursday, 14 December 2017 22:21

The tourism industry’s contribution to New Zealand is reflected in new economic statistics, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa. 

The 2017 Tourism Satellite Account shows that more than 230,000 people are directly employed in tourism (8.4% of the workforce), with another 168,357 or 6.1% indirectly employed.

What drives 50+ market?

Monday, 11 December 2017 20:54

Once thought to be only for unwashed backpackers willing to endure hardship and discomfort to get an authentic experience, now adventure travel attracts a much more mainstream group. Well-heeled professionals, romantic couples and sporty families all want more adventure, nature and culture from their holidays. But the core demographic that is leading the double-digit growth for Adventure World is the ‘Bucket-List Baby Boomer’.
They already hold the purse strings when it comes to a huge chunk of traveller spending power and with a growing trend towards more lucrative long-haul adventures among cash-rich and time-rich older travellers, the size of the potential market is vast.

Tourism tax, to be or not to be

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:25

Regional Tourism Organisations around New Zealand are making calls for a national discussion on tourism tax.
This week the Labour Government is seeking advice from officials on its pre-election policy that would see international visitors pay a $25 tax at the border.
RTNZ executive officer Charlie Ives says New Zealand needs an agreed, rational, structured approach that benefits tourism.

No tour too small

Thursday, 30 November 2017 21:03

Back-Roads Touring has just launched its 2018 Cruise and Sail brochure that features a range of small-group tours, something country manager New Zealand, Dennis Basham says is a growing trend for the Kiwi market.

The market is growing rapidly as guests are looking to escape the large group scenarios, long lines and wait times. The small-group market allows guests to enjoy local cultural experiences but with full support from a dedicated and experienced guide and driver,’ he says.

OTAs: Agents fight back

Monday, 27 November 2017 19:09

Travel agents and brokers may be working harder than ever for their money, but there is no question that they are gaining ground back from the online competition, the NZ Travel Brokers conference heard over the weekend.
‘OTAs (online travel agents) around the world are struggling; many have plummeting share prices,’ says Steve Lee, director of NZTB.

‘They are not getting the traction that they had at the start because travel agents are fighting back. OTAs are getting bad press and people are getting sick of the misleading information they are finding on the internet.

Authentic stories please

Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:26

A plea for authenticity was made by new Tourism Minister, Kelvin Davis, at the Tourism Industry Aotearoa Summit, in Wellington last week.

‘Get the right people telling the right stories in the right way; it’s very powerful. I need to say there are some not so genuine people telling not such genuine stories.’

The Minister praised a cruise passenger tour of Northland war sites, guided by a kaumatua who was a descendant of both Hōne Heke and the leader of the British forces, and had great story-telling skills.

Earning revenue in New Cal

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 01:44

New Caledonia’s Promenade Tours is focusing on giving the travel trade new ways to make commission in the destination while also giving clients an enriched experience.
Manager Julie Cassin says wholesalers and retail agents would typically package airfares, transfers and accommodation, primarily around Noumea.
‘We’re committed to helping them earn incremental income.’

Hamilton Island's big month

Monday, 13 November 2017 19:40

Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays has just had its biggest month yet in terms of incentive groups and other business events.
Hamilton Island’s Julie Ford, who is in Auckland now for today’s PAICE event, says the biggest month prior to October 2017 was November 2010.
The strong performance in October signalled a quick and dramatic recovery after Cyclone Debbie ripped through the region in March this year.

Economy brand to launch in AU/NZ

Monday, 06 November 2017 21:55

Best Western Australasia(BWA) says SureStay, its new economy hotel brand, is coming to New Zealand and Australia. 

Head of commercial, Steve Richards says fruitful discussions are underway with a number of hotels and anticipates the first property will go live in early 2018 with others to follow.he

Richards says Best Western sees the economy sector as a major network growth opportunity, especially across regional areas with a lot of competition but little brand differentiation.

Respect for film sites in NZ

Monday, 30 October 2017 22:50

Film tourists trespassing on private land and trampling over vulnerable natural areas, plus entire communities feeling displaced by visiting film buffs are issues the film tourism sector must urgently address.

Speaking at a joint Tourism Ireland/Tourism New Zealand Screen Tourism discussion, in Wellington last week, industry experts warned that maintaining the natural integrity of film locations and the ‘social licence’ to visit them are essential.

Diehard fans come with great expectations.

Why river cruises

Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:55

River cruising in Europe is more popular for second-, third- and fourth-time cruisers.
That’s according to Nicky Denvir, travel agent at HOT Botany, who says it’s normally an ocean cruise first, and then the next time the river cruising is what she would recommend.

SIA's Book the Cook hits AKL

Thursday, 12 October 2017 20:25

One year in the making, Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook service is winging its way to Auckland, with LSG Sky Chefs curating and producing the vision.
Book the Cook gives First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy guests leaving Auckland the opportunity to book a main course from a curated fine dining menu, up to 48 hours before flying with the airline.
Already available at 17 other ports for First Class, 23 ports in Business Class and 19 ports for Premium Economy, Auckland’s menu is available for departures starting 30 October – the same date that the airline’s A380 comes back into rotation.

Incentives the new leisure?

Thursday, 08 June 2017 22:36

Travellers who engage a travel agent now are often seeking something more akin to an ‘incentive travel’ experience than simply an off the shelf product, says Penny Henderson of special interest travel company Pack Ya Bags.
Traditionally incentives have been the domain of corporates who set targets and then have inspiring programmes devised for the people who achieve those goals. The recipients tend to feel short changed if they feel they could have easily devised and purchased the travel products themselves.

Marriott on a mission in NZ

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 22:09

One of the largest hotel trade expos to happen in New Zealand will take place late May, when the Marriott International Global Sales Mission is held at the Maritime Room in Auckland.
Travel retailers and brokers are welcome to attend, as are professional conference and incentive organisers, wholesalers and corporate travel agents/travel management companies.The Mission is the first time Marriott has brought its showcase to these shores and encompasses what used to be known as the Starwood Expo.

True cost of SA visa debacle

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:22

The South African visa situation has already caused leading incentive operator Dragonfly Africa to lose a big booking out of the New Zealand market, and the effects are ongoing.
Yolanda Woeke-Jacobs, director sales and marketing with Dragonfly, says the company lost a booking of 400 people through an incentive company in New Zealand because the extra cost and time involved in fronting up at an office for a visa made the trip uneconomic and impractical. The trip was worth about 10 million rand (more than NZ$1million) to the South African economy, not counting airfares.

HoT against animal cruelty

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 02:07

House of Travel this month signed World Animal Protection’s elephant-friendly tourism pledge, committing not to sell, offer or promote venues or activities involving elephant rides and shows.
House of Travel marketing director Ken Freer says tourists often want to experience wild animals when on holiday,  especially in places such as Asia and Africa, but sometimes don’t realise the animals can suffer hidden cruelty so they can interact with people.

Tourism growth: At what price?

Thursday, 10 May 2018 22:38

By 2025, the tourism industry will be worth $41 billion dollars. With TRENZ being an annual celebration of the tourism industry in New Zealand, an important point raised at this year’s event was how to tackle this rapid growth rate, and the impact it has on our country.

Emirates drops two flights

Thursday, 12 October 2017 03:47

From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland and instead focus on its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service. 

Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and the airline is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.

At the same time, to provide greater choice across the Tasman, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between the two countries, adding seven new return

Air NZ reveals inflight WiFi move

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 00:40

Air New Zealand has started trialling its new Inflight Wi-Fi service on one of its long-haul Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
 
The airline is rolling out Wi-Fi capability across its international jet fleet, beginning with the 777-300 fleet. 

Reinvest GST, take from tourism

Thursday, 05 October 2017 19:10

A call for the single biggest beneficiary of tourism to reinvest in the product was made yesterday by Tourism Industry Aotearoa boss Chris Roberts.
Speaking at SKAL Auckland’s monthly luncheon, Roberts said the government had increased its GST take by $500m a year, from $700m to $1.2b, since the tourism boom began around four years ago.

VR no travel replacement

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 03:18

Virtual reality will become an increasingly important sales tool for travel professionals and is also likely to add to the travel experience – but won’t stop people from actually going places.

That’s the view of Russell Craig, national technology officer, Microsoft New Zealand.

‘I see the two as being both / and, rather than either/ or.’

Diverse results on big night

Saturday, 30 September 2017 23:43

The 2017 TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards produced probably the most even spread of winners in the event’s history, with variation and new winners thrown into the mix.
A notable trend was a steady early call-out of helloworld names – GO Holidays as best wholesaler; Janine Mallon, The Travel Brokers as best broker; Rebekah Hensman of helloworld 5 Mile taking out best rookie of the year; Michelle Malcolm, helloworld North Harbour named best travel agency manager – retail; and helloworld Blenheim, Rolleston, Wanganui being called up as best brand retail – multi location.

The TAANZ tick and more

Thursday, 28 September 2017 21:03

The Travel Agents’ Association New Zealand (TAANZ) says its new consumer proposition and a ‘suite of assets’ promoting the benefits of using a TAANZ travel agent are now available for members.

This includes the new look logo and a ‘Five Reasons to Choose a TAANZ Accredited Travel Agent’ chart which can be easily integrated into agents’ own websites.

First Travel Group’s Margaret Spiro, who was on a spacial marketing group for the project, says the aim was to modernise the logo and the message and make TAANZ more credible to the consumer.

Trade messages lead to high client satisfaction

Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:40

Higher than ever repeat and satisfaction rates from The Travel Corporation clients is due to a large degree to the trade’s knowledge and understanding of the company’s offerings, guests at a function in Auckland heard this week.
‘The messaging in 2017 and into 2018 means that your clients are prepared for the experience they are going to have,’ Scott Cleaver, general manager sales at The Travel Corporation told the gathered agents at Crave Café during the Fiesta event. Cleaver says the event, and similar functions around the country, are about saying thank you to the trade – particularly from the Trafalgar, Contiki and Insight brands. He says that while sharp airfare deals have helped drive sales to Europe in general, the trend has also meant that yields get ‘more challenging’, leading to a higher propensity to sell land content.

Viva updates agents on Mexico

Thursday, 21 September 2017 06:15

Viva Expeditions reports that all of its local guides, and our friends and family in Mexico are safe and well and the company is sending its thoughts and condolences to the people who have been impacted. 

Thronies unite

Friday, 15 September 2017 00:42

Fans of Game of Thrones will have the opportunity to meet a Knight of the Kingsguard and a member of the Night’s Watch at the Winterfell Festival on 24 September.

Awards finalists give tips for success, thoughts on trends

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 21:18

Keep your knowledge up, keep training and keep visiting new destinations. That’s one of the tips for success from Samantha Johnston of YOU Travel Taupo.

Intrepid's new food tours in Middle East

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 22:16

Intrepid Travel now offers food adventures in more than 25 countries including two new foodie tours in the Middle East in 2018. The new Real Food Adventures brochure, out now, offers authentic, local food experiences across Europe, Asia, the Americas, the subcontinent and the Middle East with more than 30 itineraries.

Niche travel: trade shows

Sunday, 03 September 2017 06:14

Possibly no other agent in New Zealand knows more about Germany in general and (almost certainly) German trade shows than Robert Laing, owner of Messe Reps.
Laing has actually been dealing with trade shows since 1989, when he worked with Jetsave and later White Heron Express. He started Messe Reps in 1996 and says trade fairs in Germany are still big business and still well attended by companies in New Zealand.

New for Great Train Journeys

Friday, 25 August 2017 02:39

A Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is a key feature of the 2018 Great Train Journeys brochure,

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