Hot Topics

Trade has ‘enormous opportunities’

Thursday, 12 September 2019 23:25

Travel agents have enormous opportunities to steer their clients towards enriching experiences and help travellers to overcome any cynicism and doubts they may have, says Gavin Tollman, CEO of Trafalgar.

Win a Rocky Mountaineer journey

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 03:25

World Journeys is reminding agents of the chance to win a spot on a seven day Rocky Mountaineer rail famil in April/May of 2020, traversing the First Passage to the West.

Airlines to improve travel for disabilities

Friday, 07 June 2019 01:37

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has approved a resolution to improve the air travel experience for the estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, during its recent 75th annual general meeting.

TINZT Academic Scholarships awarded

Friday, 09 November 2018 19:15

Two University of Otago tourism students have each received a $4000 boost to help them complete their study.

Eat my tourism lunch

Friday, 09 November 2018 01:09

There are definite tourism opportunities in partnering with hugely successful social enterprise venture, Eat My Lunch, says co-founder Lisa King.

VR’s place – fantasy tours

Monday, 17 September 2018 21:54

The most popular virtual reality travel experiences in the future are likely to be fantasy tours – rather than replication of real experiences, says neuroscientist and developer Dr Jordan Nguyen.


More feedback on youth report

Monday, 27 August 2018 22:57

Last week, TRAVELinc Memo provided extensive coverage of the just released Tourism Youth Perception Research Report.

Corporate clients ‘looking for strategy’ from agents

Thursday, 26 July 2018 22:01

Designing a travel policy that allows corporate customers to feel they have a choice is among the keys to success in a travel management environment, says one of the leading travel agents in the field.

Travel ‘tsunami’ poses risk

Thursday, 12 July 2018 21:27

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) is calling for a new approach to how New Zealand manages and thinks of tourism in the current environment in order to avoid ‘over tourism’.

Food for thought

Monday, 09 July 2018 22:39

How many restaurateurs and hoteliers have actually met the farmers who provide the food they serve?

Africa specialist eyes NZ market

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 01:23

An Africa luxury travel specialist focusing on the ‘theatre of travel’ is set to make moves in New Zealand.

Trade partnerships still key for Croatia travel specialist

Thursday, 31 May 2018 21:59

Value for money, culture and cuisine, plus safety and diversity in a small area, are all attracting New Zealanders (and travellers from other parts of the world) to Croatia.

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.

A&K tours attract ‘Teach Me’ travellers

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 21:47

The ‘Teach Mes’ are on the move and Abercrombie & Kent is adapting to their needs, according to representatives from the company who visited Auckland this week.

Sujata Raman, regional managing director Australia / Asia Pacific says that while talking about ‘experiential travel’ might be the buzz word of the day it is also a real and continuing trend.

Luxury show wants more Kiwi agents

Thursday, 08 March 2018 01:06

Travel brokers and other agents with high net worth clients are in the sights of a Sydney-based luxury travel show that wants to see more New Zealand buyers on its floor.

Luxperience started in 2012 and has had strong support from Tourism New Zealand, high-end lodges and other luxury suppliers who have exhibited since it started.

Event director Michelle Papas was in New Zealand last week with a view to increase the Kiwi exhibitor base with helicopter operators, destination management companies and more five-star hotels and ‘super lodges.’

Maher Escorted Tours’ agent portal a ‘win-win’

Thursday, 01 March 2018 05:26

The desire to work closer with the travel trade has led to the launch of a dedicated and brand new agents’ portal by Maher Escorted Tours.

The company offers 10% commission on its entire twin share price (including tips, taxes, meals etc) and specialises in fully escorted tours for the ‘mature traveller, young at heart’.

Tech at forefront of service quality, evolution in travel

Monday, 19 February 2018 20:25

Technology and how it is disrupting the industry was a major theme when Orbit World Travel held its first ever travel seminar for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty recently.

Roger Gray, group general manager for Airports Air NZ, detailed how much technology dictates service quality.

TMG looks to strengthen management team

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 02:42

Travel Managers Group (TMG) has now kicked off the search for a new general manager, following Dave Wallace’s announcement last year that he intended to retire from his position towards the end of 2018.

The current senior management team made up of Kevin Weston, Nicola Jamieson and Angela Mills will remain, and the company reports it’s looking to secure a suitable candidate to help continue the growth and

Expedia TAAP rolls out dynamic commission in New Zealand

Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:47

Expedia TAAP has launched a revenue-sharing model in New Zealand, meaning that agents here can earn varying levels of commission depending on which hotels they book.

Stu Udy, manager travel agent distribution Asia Pacific at Expedia, says the dynamic commission is a slight shift in the way the company pays commission to travel agents, reflecting the ever-changing world of travel distribution.

Eclipse Travel looks to big year with NZ trade

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 21:06

Eclipse Travel has further strengthened its Christchurch based New Zealand operations and will be rolling a series of trade activities on this side of the Tasman in the coming months.

The company, which specialises in travel to remote and adventurous destinations, marks the fifth year of its Sydney operation this month and says the establishment of its Christchurch office last year was a result of continued strong growth.

Youth market, STA Travel: both on a growth curve

Thursday, 01 February 2018 04:03

STA Travel plans to open at least two more stores in New Zealand this year and the footprint will grow further in 2019 and beyond.

Country manager Sarah Bedford says the company (started in 1979) currently has 17 retail outlets around New Zealand (over half in mall locations) and is benefiting by concentrating on its core markets – ‘students, young people and the young at heart’.

B:Hive move expands honey pot for successful broker

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 19:54

A move out of home and into highly automated offices, plus more formal working arrangements signal the next step for a successful broker company based in North Shore, Auckland.

Manase Travel Studio moved into new premises at B:Hive, Smale’s Farm in Takapuna late last year and co-director Peter Manase says the shift reflects growing business success for the brokerage – particularly in the corporate sector.

Credit card compliance – the IATA heat is on

Thursday, 25 January 2018 20:11

The heat has been turned up on any travel agents who have not ensured they comply with a global security standard to protect confidential payment information against theft.

IATA has set a deadline of 1 March for accredited agents to achieve the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

‘Leisurely actives’ give company running start

Monday, 22 January 2018 20:51

A Walker’s World / Cycling Europe director Jill Grant says this year has seen the busiest January for the company in memory.

While there a number of possible reasons, one of the most surprising is a slight loss of business confidence since the change of government.

‘During the last recession, we experienced good growth as many clients saw it as an opportune time to travel, seeing as there was a downturn in business at home.’

The year ahead...readers share thoughts

Monday, 18 December 2017 19:25

To say 2017 has been ‘interesting’ is an understatement. But what is the travel industry expecting for the year ahead…?

TRAVELinc Memo reached out to a few readers and here are some responses we got back. Remember, we are always interested in hearing from you so send us your thoughts, comments and news.

Rise of the ‘minimoon’ – Kiwi newlyweds opt for shorter escapes

Monday, 11 December 2017 20:18

Newlyweds are opting more and more for shorter honeymoons or ‘minimoons’, as extended holidays are too expensive and they use up too much leave in the lead up to the event.
Anita Gatley, honeymoon and destination wedding travel specialist, says this is accentuated by the high cost of Kiwi weddings and also because of the timing of the wedding season in New Zealand.
‘From my observations couples are going for shorter domestic or South Pacific breaks immediately after the wedding,’ she says.

All Blacks Tours names Rugby World Cup 2019 sub-agents

Thursday, 07 December 2017 22:25

All Blacks Tours, New Zealand’s exclusive Official Travel Agent (OTA) for the Rugby World Cup 2019, Japan, has appointed four sub-agents for the tournament- Fortis Travel Group, Holland, Clarke & Beatson, BCD Travel and JTB.

The appointments follow a competitive application process where agents were assessed on a number of criteria.

As sub-agents of All Blacks Tours for RWC 2019, the four companies have the ability to create, market and sell official Rugby World CupTM packages within World RugbyTM guidelines.

‘Room for more players,’ says NZ Travel Brokers

Monday, 27 November 2017 18:01

The emergence of new broker brands in New Zealand as well as major changes among some of the key players will lead to ‘interesting times’ over the next few years, the NZ Travel Brokers Conference heard over the weekend.

‘We will see how it plays out,’ says Steve Lee, director of NZ Travel Brokers.

‘But we will stick to our knitting and think we will be ok.’

TravelAdvocates launches with Southcombe at helm

Friday, 24 November 2017 00:09

New broker channel brand named TravelAdvocates has been officially launched in New Zealand.

Headed up by Mike Southcombe, who has a long history in this space having previously established a successful broker business. Southcombe had 11 years at the helm of Travel Managers Group NZ.

Travel agents trendy again

Monday, 30 October 2017 22:33

It’s becoming cool to have a travel agent again, says helloworld Travel chief executive officer and managing director Andrew Burnes.

‘There is widespread recognition among people now that agents are adding to the equation and that having a good travel agent among the professionals in your world is beneficial,’ Burnes said in an address to the helloworld Frontliners’ Conference at Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau over the weekend.

‘We all know there used to be a lot of talk about the death of travel agents. The question was ‘doesn’t everyone book online now?’ We’re just not having those conversations anymore.’

‘Sick and tired’ of drawn out trans-Tasman travel

Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:27

The chief executive of Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) ‘is sick and tired’ of how complex and drawn out travelling trans Tasman is.
‘We should have managed this donkey ages ago,’ Margy Osmond told an audience at the 2017 New Zealand Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit in Auckland this week.
She says recent reports and sources are suggesting a pre-clearance and on-demand model, something TTF feels could make a big difference.

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

Conradie aiming to further Excite NZ trade

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 19:53

Excite has a fresh face in New Zealand, with Suzanne Conradie now in the role as business development manager.

While new in the Excite position, Conradie is well known to many in the Kiwi trade, particularly after a long stint here with South African Airways.

The announcement comes at a time when Excite is celebrating a 15-year anniversary, marked late last week by a party in relatively new premises in York Street, Sydney.

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.

No sub for face to face, say recent store entrants

Thursday, 05 October 2017 18:48

Sue and Paul Robinson didn’t take any heed of the naysayers when they first became travel agency store owners three years ago.

After a stint in insurance broking and then a successful property management come inbound tourism venture (especially around the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand), they looked for new opportunities.

‘I looked at franchise for the first time; we have always started our own businesses until then,’ says Sue Robinson.

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.’

Payment card security - take it seriously, says TAANZ

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 01:06

The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) is urging its members to take action now to comply with a global security standard to protect confidential payment card information against theft.

IATA has set a date of 1 March for accredited agents to achieve the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

TAANZ president says there is some lobbying to have IATA ‘see reason’ on the time frame, but that said it is important that agents take the subject seriously.

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. 

Earlybird has ‘had its worm’

Friday, 15 September 2017 00:46

Adapting to booking patterns and constantly monitoring the costs to travel are two key factors in being a successful travel agent now, says Billy Ballantine, of Lakers House of Travel in Invercargill.
‘I think within five years no one will book anything until within six months of travel,’ says Ballantine, who is a finalist in the best travel consultant – retail category of the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards. ‘The earlybird has had its worm and we need to adapt to this. Getting ready for the next step – as a travel agent or any business – we must always be relevant and be prepared for the unknown, continually working on our point of difference.’ He says monitoring

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,

Flight Centre acquires...

Monday, 31 July 2017 21:43

Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) will acquire two high profile New Zealand travel businesses. One is Travel Managers Group (TMG), a predominantly leisure-focused group that provides systems and support services to a network of more than 180 individual brokers. TMG also operates a 22-shop franchise network, which includes 12 TravelSmart shops and 10 non-branded stores. The other is Executive Travel Group (ETG), New Zealand’s largest independent corporate travel management company.

Upbeat Libeau hails helloworld’s progress

Monday, 31 July 2017 21:38

New stores, new technology and nationwide brand recognition are all indicators of the huge progress being made by helloworld, just over a year since the company launched across New Zealand. At the helloworld gala awards, in Christchurch on Saturday night, general manager marketing, David Libeau, was in an upbeat mood.

Don’t forget us, say independent agents

Monday, 31 July 2017 21:27

A number of independent agents at the Global Travel Network (GTN) Conference over the weekend say they often feel like they are on the ‘periphery’ of the travel industry and forgotten about by suppliers – both air and land. They cited the chance to catch up with 24 airlines, tour operators, cruise companies and other suppliers under one roof as the key reason to attend the conference at Rydges Rotorua.

Food travel – more opportunities to come

Thursday, 27 July 2017 23:10

Foodie travel has found its place over the past couple of years, but there is more growth to come, according to a small but diverse group of tourist offices and tour companies at The Auckland Food Show this week. Intrepid is showing off its Food Worldwide Adventures brochure and hosting a competition for show visitors to win a trip up to the value of $3000. Intrepid assistant manager Charlotte Randell says the company’s food tours are a big hit and the range on offer has steadily grown. New food adventure destinations include South Korea and Israel.

Being aware of duty of care

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 01:20

Recent research from Concur claims that many companies are unaware they have a legal obligation to fulfil their duty of care responsibilities for travelling employees.

However, Paul Halford, marketing manager at Orbit World Travel, says that’s not quite the case anymore.

‘Across the Orbit business, we have a large number of clients – small, medium, large, private, and public. What we see on a day-to-day basis is that employers are definitely aware that they have an obligation, especially over the last 12 months or so,’ he says.

‘Skills crisis starts in schools – Teachers need more support’

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:56

The skills crisis in New Zealand’s tourism and travel starts in secondary schools, where both teachers and students in the topics are often looked down upon by their peers, says a leading educator in the sector.

Megan Roberts, tourism work integrated learning leader and industry liaison and senior lecturer at School of Hospitality and Tourism Auckland University of Technology (AUT) says the issue urgently needs leadership.

“The situation in secondary schools needs a real shake-up,’ says Roberts. ‘Tourism and hospitality are often seen as the options for less academic students.