On famil with travel&co last year On famil with travel&co last year

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Active travel options continue to expand and offer growing opportunities for travel agents – especially those who make the right connections in their communities, according to a niche wholesaler dealing in the sector.

Rob Macready, director of travel&co, says agents and brokers who have relationships with local sporting clubs and specialist stores (fishing, diving, skiing/boarding, mountain biking etc) are in the best position to promote and sell active travel. The company will be in front of agents during the JAWS Plus roadshow around New Zealand over the next three weeks, the second year travel&co has participated, and has a trade famil in Canada going on next week. This will be followed by its Ski Expo (trade welcome) in Auckland on 9 May and Christchurch 13 May.

travel&co has also appointed a new marketing manager, Kelsey Waters, who will work with suppliers and trade on a mix of brand and tactical promotions with an emphasis on digital marketing. Waters was most recently with House of Travel as e-commerce marketing manager for eight years, and before that with the Marketing Association. Macready says travel&co will have a new 80 page ski and board brochure out next week. ‘We focus on Japan, Canada, USA, Europe and South America, but we also have some inspirational content around India,’ he says. ‘Canada and Japan are still the most popular (ski/ board) destinations, followed closely by USA, but we are definitely seeing more enquiry about alternatives.

‘Families are a big part of the business, that’s always been the case but it has been growing. Resorts that can offer a range and variety of terrain tend to do well with this market and ski-in, ski-out resorts remain very popular.’ Waters says agents should be aware of the mountain biking opportunities available at ski resorts in the northern summer. ‘We are doing a campaign with Tourism Whistler for example. They use the gondolas and chair lifts to take people to the top and they can then use the down hill and cross country tracks. It is huge with their local market and another opportunity for agents here.’ Macready says the trade can also benefit from being aware not only of popular diving and fishing destinations, but also emerging options. For diving this includes New Caledonia, while up and coming fishing destinations from this market are Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Prince Edward Island, Canada; and Christmas Island, Kiribati.

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