Inspired New Zealand Tours’ Essential North Island and Essential South Island are designed as comprehensive introductions to the destinations for Kiwi clients who may not have had any indepth experience of the island they don’t live in.
A new website has been launched by Inspired New Zealand Tours, setting out a range of 2020-21 itineraries that can be accessed by the New Zealand travel trade.
Director John Gregory says that while the company has nine core tours, with multiple departures between September 2020 and April 2021, Inspired New Zealand Tours is also keen to interact with any agents and brokers not only interested in selling the set programmes but also in developing bespoke tour options specifically for their client bases.
Leisure Time Tours is offering an 11-day tour through the North Island that discovers some of the most ‘Gram worthy’ destinations and activities that have been dominating Instagram feeds around the world.
There are three package levels (standard, superior and premium) to choose from plus a range of optional extras to produce a flexible holiday.
Destination Queenstown will launch a ‘dream, plan, book’ winter campaign on 1 June to stimulate demand for Kiwis to travel post-lockdown.
This includes a new hero campaign video that showcases the Queenstown winter experience, followed by targeted promotional content to communicate Queenstown’s offering and deals to different segments. Hero product and member deals will then be promoted to drive traffic to queenstownNZ.nz and generate referrals.
Tour company Bush and Beach has developed a series of tours especially for Auckland locals and New Zealanders visiting Auckland.
Managing director Ben Thornton says details will be announced shortly and the company intends taking bookings from 1 June.
Meantime, the company has extended its operations by delivering Auckland Council food parcels under contract to New Zealand couriers.
MoaTours’ Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island and the Catlins tour is one of the company’s favourites and gives Kiwi agents a chance to sell a product which is domestic but little visited by the local market.
‘Many travellers have had Stewart Island in their sights for a long time, so there is a sense of triumph from actually having made it,’ says MoaTours founder Ena Hutchinson.
A company which has been offering global trips to women for the past 13 years is currently putting together excursions in New Zealand and has already had its first such trip sell out.
Julie Paterson, founder of Venus Adventures, says she was stranded in New Zealand (she usually lives in Egypt to be close to her global destinations) and she has had to do a ‘quick pivot’.
Regional tourism office, ChristchurchNZ, has launched a campaign to promote the city, Canterbury and the West Coast to the wider domestic market.
It follows recent analysis from Deloitte that showed Canterbury has the potential to retain $1b in tourism spend that typically goes overseas.
While Tourism New Zealand is confident there will be a viable visitor economy for the country, the results of its pre Budget survey make grim reading.
Operators are forecasting layoffs to 52% of their work force, in the regions 49% lay-offs. All businesses surveyed report making hard decisions to keep their business alive – 37% have reduced staff, 31% are mothballing assets and operations, 9% have sold assets.
Going into hibernation is not an option for inbound tour operators who are working on programmes a year or two into the future, this week’s Epidemic Response Parliamentary Committee was told.
‘We’re seeing some attractions, hotels and others going into hibernation but that doesn't work for us,’ says Matt Brady, managing director of Pan Pacific.
The chance for clients to discover ‘New Zealand the way it used to be’ is a major attraction of MoaTours’ East Cape Caper, says company founder Ena Hutchinson.
‘Our tour stays a night in Whakatane, then heads to Hicks Bay and on tto Gisborne and Rotorua, enjoying local hospitality along the way.’
Hutchinson adds the trip includes private homestead lunches at Te Kaha, Anaura Bay and Lake Tarawera.
Other highlights include a Te Puke kiwifruit orchard, the East Cape Manuka Company, St Mary’s Church at Tikitiki, Tairawhiti Museum with its major Maori and Captain Cook displays, and the world renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum.
East Cape Caper also visits Tiromoana – a coastal garden at Wainui Beach – and entry into the grounds and museum at Te Wairoa Buried Village, Lake Tarawera.
AIM Holidays has expanded its domestic product range to keep up with anticipated demand for domestic travel, says reservations manager Jay Soysa.
AIM Holidays has operated in the domestic market for over five years and to date the concentration has been on short-stay packages in the main cities, packages with a show or event ticket or overnight stays at Auckland Airport.
Business confidence among New Zealand’s hotel sector is much bleaker than business confidence in general, according to a new survey.
The New Zealand Hotel Market Sentiment Survey was undertaken by Horwath HTL and Tourism Industry Aotearoa to examine how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting hoteliers’ outlook for the New Zealand hotel market in general and their hotel in particular; 115 hoteliers responded to the survey which was carried out between 30 April and 5 May 2020.
Active Adventures has released four New Zealand itineraries designed specifically for the domestic market with lower price points and shorter durations than the company’s usual trips.
The trips will also suit Australian guests once a trans Tasman bubble is confirmed.
Supporting the local travel agent community and encouraging customers to do the same is a key strategy of long standing tour operator Leisure Time Tours, says managing director Scott Mehrtens.
‘Having operated for 33 years we have a deep understanding of how the distribution channels work, we are fully commissionable and we are able to immediately offer a wide range of domestic product to our travel agency partners,’ he says.
Offering ‘out of the way places’ and special experiences that clients would find dificult to access under their own steam, is one of the keys to MoaTours’ operations says founder Ena Hutchinson.
The specialist in small group tours for mature travellers also offers opportunities for travel agents and brokers as the country sets its sights on opening up domestic tourism.
More than 40% of New Zealand’s tourism businesses have already been put into hibernation, judging by the preliminary results of a survey by the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ).
With about 50% of the inbound tour operator members having returned their survey, 32% of inbound tour operators say they have made staff redundant and 90% say they will need to make more staff cuts if the government subsidy is not extended past 12 weeks.
The allied member survey (27% response rate) indicates that only 23% have made staff redundant to date. However, 100% say they will make more redundancies if the subsidy is not extended.
In a newsletter this week, TEC says it has been lobbying to have the wage subsidy extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
‘It has been encouraging to hear the Prime Minister reference the possibility that government is now looking at potential specific sector support, of which tourism was one mentioned.
‘Any specific sector initiative designed to help the tourism sector rebound as quickly as possible would be welcomed by the industry.
‘New Zealand has been successful on the health front and can also achieve a successful economic rebound as well, with a little more help.’
The medium term outlook for travel and tourism will depend on whether or not the world insists on waiting for a vaccine before borders are opened at all, Anna Black, chair Tourism Export Council NZ (TECNZ) said during the Tourism Temperature webinar this week.
‘Or do people start travelling without a vaccine but with safe border controls? If the plan is (ongoing) self isolation on arrival, that won’t work for international travellers.’
A number of New Zealand-based bed and breakfast operators say they are still waiting to be paid by overseas agents (including inbound tour operators and wholesale travel companies), despite accommodating their clients months ago. The Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand (BBANZ) says Covid-19 has disrupted payments to operators resulting in many overdue debts.
Business events (conferences, incentives and meetings) will be an important and probably early part of New Zealand’s tourism revival, attendees at Wednesday's Kickstaring The Tourism Sector Together webinar heard.
Stephen England-Hall, Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive, said business events, and events in general, provided plenty of opportunity in the domestic sector ‘as much as’ international. ‘Business events move reasonable volumes of high value people and we can do it in a more controlled way. It is an important part of our recovery strategy.’
The New Zealand Government appears set to retain the International Visitor Levy, participants in the Kickstarting the Tourism Sector Together webinar heard on Wednesday.
In a response to a question, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said even though the tourist tax was designed for ‘a different time and a different future’ it will still have a place. ‘We need all the tools to rebuild and restart, we need sustainable funding models.’
Air New Zealand will need clarity around border and travel restrictions before it makes any statement on resumption of services, those who listened into the Kickstarting the Tourism Sector Together webinar heard on Wednesday.
‘When we get that clarity, even if it’s not what we want to hear, we will be able to start making decisions,’ says Cam Wallace, chief revenue officer with Air New Zealand.
The Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) has proposed to the government that the next 12-week assistance package is paid to all travel agent business owners on a per owner, per employee and contractor basis at 80% of the living wage (equalling $676.8 a week).
Being called a dinosaur isn’t normally meant as a term of endearment, but for Frankton travel agent Tori Keating getting a bit prehistoric is a way to lighten up during these days of self isolation.
Helene Taylor, A Force for Good; presented the Driving Diversity Impact Award to Sarah Archer of Air New Zealand, at yesterday’s A Force for Good event.
A world famous collection of Surrealist art is heading to Te Papa in Wellington late this year. Dalí and the Surrealists: Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen | Dalí me ngā Ringatoi Pohewa: He Toi Marupō Muhiama o Boijmans Van Beuningen, opens 5 December 2020 and runs until 26 April 2021 in Te Papa’s gallery, Toi Art.
The 180 pieces include major works by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp. Te Papa is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the exhibition. CLICK HERE for details.
Diversity, security and the ability to easily combine Israel with neighbouring Middle Eastern countries were emphasised by Innovative Travel this week as it co-hosted road shows in Christchurch and Auckland with destination management company (DMC) Naftali Tours.
Michelle Downey, owner of Auckland based Bucket List Travel and a travel broker with Travel Managers Group, is expanding her business.
The official opening of Jet Park Hamilton Airport late last week signals part of an overall development that will support regional tourism, conferences and other business events and growth of the Waipa / Waikato region, attendees at the event heard.
The trend towards increasing numbers of people in the 55 plus age group and multigenerational groups travelling has reached the adventure travel sector, particularly with hiking itineraries.
The future travel agent will be even more flexible and agile, offer specialist knowledge and increasingly unclutter information from the internet, according to a panel of travel business owners at the TAANZ 2019 Summit last week.
Air Milford’s appearance at Luxperience last week generated plenty of interest from luxury agents keen to get their clients into relatively inaccessible parts of New Zealand, according to operations manager Antony Sproull.