More people are looking for experiences outside the boundaries of their day to day life, increasingly providing opportunities for travel agents, says Leah Morresey, a finalist in the Best Travel Consultant – Retail category.
‘Clients who have researched the internet for their holiday are far more reluctant now to go ahead and book it themselves,’ says Kay Rogers, managing director of YOU Travel Mount Group.
The finalists for the 2018 Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) were announced yesterday, and those in the running say the process gives them the chance to focus on their strengths (and challenges).
Ten top performing agents from around New Zealand took off recently on a ‘supertour’ that includes castles, cathedrals, caves and cuisine around Europe’s hottest destination. Participants are the top performing agents across the Globus Family of Brands that includes; Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways.
With the mature New Zealand traveller increasingly open to the option of a small group domestic tour, commission opportunities continue to go begging for travel agents, according to one of the leaders in the field. Ena Hutchinson, director of sales with MoaTrek, says the company saw a 30% growth out of the domestic market in 2017-18 and as a result has added four new tours for the coming season.
Localyokl, a curated online platform that connects travellers with local guides around Australia for a more immersive and personalised travel experience, has just announced a New Zealand expansion within the next six months.
‘Our Kiwi cousins are renowned for their adventurous spirit and doing things differently. New Zealand is hearing the demand for more local, unique and immersive experiences by travellers and we see locals helping deliver on that demand,’ says Azra Alagic, co-founder.
The increase in international visitor numbers to the Bay of Plenty has seen new products in the region become export ready – something that will be reflected in the Bay’s turnout at eXplore 2018.
‘The region’s message is ‘It’s in our Nature’ and our group of operators are all about fitting into the natural beauty and abundance of natural assets we have to offer,’ says Denise Siviter, trade marketing manager Tourism
Canterbury ski area Porters has new mountain bike trails that are free to use with three zones catering for beginners to advanced riders.
Porters summer activities co-ordinator Jason Collins says the tracks were designed to be fun for all abilities and ages.
Mt Hutt is holding its open day this year on Saturday 3 March, and with Cyclone Gita’s help there is around 50cm of snow.
‘I know some of our die-hard skiers and riders will be very excited, but honestly, we’re not ready for winter just yet,’ says Mt Hutt Ski area manager James McKenzie.
Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group has announced new expansion plans for the recently refurbished Cordis Auckland.
These plans will make the upper upscale hotel the largest in New Zealand in terms of room count and is set to be complete by late 2020, in time for The America’s Cup.
The Rees Queenstown recently rolled out Optii Keeper across its housekeeping department, which services 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and five lakeside private residences.
Optii Keeper is a housekeeping system that can dierentiate between a lightly used room occupied by a guest, to one that’s been lived in by a family for days – managing quality and productivity so the housekeeping schedule
Christchurch is taking advantage of its vibrant street art and mural scene that has become a strong element of the city’s identity.
Visitors can now go deeper and learn more about the individual works and artists behind the artworks by doing a 1.5-hour guided tour through the CBD with Watch This Space.
Tourism New Zealand is promoting the West Coast of the South Island and Northland in a twelve-week campaign to encourage Australians to travel to New Zealand during autumn this year.
Australia is New Zealand’s biggest international visitor market, accounting for nearly half of all international holiday visitors.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall says the latest campaign is a signicant and strategic eort to continue to drive New Zealand’s holiday visitors beyond the popular tourist spots.
Kiwi holidaymakers should still be able to find room in a few holiday parks around the country, even when they are so popular right now.
Holiday parks hosted a record 545,000 guest nights in October, up 77,000 (16.4%) on the same month in 2016.
‘This was a bigger increase for October than for hotels, motels or backpackers. Holiday parks have a growing appeal to a wide range of travellers – families, grey nomads and young road trippers,’ says Holiday Parks New
Amadeus used this year’s Christmas catch up to introduce a fresh look team.
Emma Donovan is now head of sales for New Zealand / Pacific Islands with Amadeus and has been joined in the sales team by recent starters Janine McCabe, who has had 10 years at STA Travel, and Aloma Butler who
Slate Hut at Welcome Rock Trails is a private high country station near Queenstown, on the way to Te Anau.
Guests can now take advantage of an overnight fully guided package – one night’s accommodation with meals included and a guided walk by the owner for the station.
New Zealand-based tourism company Skyline Enterprises is currently exploring opportunities to develop Luge facilities in Swansea, Wales and Seoul, South Korea.
Although the proposed developments are still in the investigation stages, Skyline Enterprises executive chairman Mark Quickfall says it is hoped that Swansea will be Skyline’s first European destination.
The facility would comprise a gondola system, Luge tracks, chairlift, zip line and restaurant on Kilvey Hill.
The visitor centre in Te Anau re-opened on Wednesday, which Real Journeys chief executive Richard Lauder says had to be completely gutted for refurbishment.
‘It’s part of our commitment to continue to invest in Te Anau - the heart of our business,’ he says.
The Len Lye Centre Cinema in New Plymouth has a range of new events and film screenings happening this year and in 2018.
On 7 December it launches Late Night Cinema on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm.
The Bowie Film Festival coincides with the first year anniversary of the artist’s death in January.
In Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s recent brief to new Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, TIA pointed out that tourism is New Zealand’s fastest growing economic contributor, as well as its biggest industry, biggest employer and biggest export sector.
The brief identified some immediate priorities for industry and Government to partner on.
It also makes 24 specific recommendations to the new government that would see tourism increasing its contribution to New Zealand’s economy if implemented.
A 20-metre-high viewing platform has been added to Rotorua’s popular Redwoods Treewalk.
The activity, located in Rotorua’s famous Redwoods Forest in the heart of the city, already features the world’s longest tree suspended walkway and a collection of David Trubridge lanterns to provide an other-worldly nighttime experience.
The Treaty House at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds has re-opened its doors to the public with a new exhibition installed by Workshop e.
Greg McManus, CEO of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, says the upgrade of the Treaty House is the latest stage of an ongoing project to develop a world-class visitor experience at the Treaty Grounds.
‘The Treaty House, or Busby House as it is sometimes known, was the site of some of the most important events in our nation’s history. It is central to our story as a nation and deserves to be looked after and interpreted well,’ he says.
Skyline Queenstown has released a number of figures as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in November with ‘Fifty Years of Fun’ competitions and community-focused events.
Some of the figures over the past 50 years include: Seventeen million gondola rides, 12 million Luge experiences, 850,000 pints of beer, 350,000 rotisserie chickens and 65 tonnes of coffee beans.
Queenstown and Wanaka airports are joining airports and aviation-associated agencies around the world to take part in Airport Safety Week.
Held between 16-20 October 2017, this year’s overall theme is One Airport One Team, with a programme of events featuring experts from various aviation, emergency management and health and safety disciplines.
Jucy has landed a role in a multi-million dollar global marketing campaign to get more youth travellers to Australia.
The Kiwi accommodation and vehicle rental brand will feature in Tourism Australia’s latest global youth campaign, targeting young international travellers and working holiday makers in key European markets including the UK, Italy, Germany and France.
Mt Ruapehu has unveiled its new season pass prices for 2018 and says the response has been overwhelming.
With the company’s best season pass price in over a decade on offer, mtruapehu.com saw a record amount of daily traffic on the first day of the sale, recording over 14,000 page views in the sale’s first 24 hours.
The first Facebook post promoting the sale reached 130,000 in 24 hours, gaining 38,000 views and 2,300 comments, shares and reactions.
Forget about a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach if you’re an industry rep in the travel sector, it just doesn’t work.
A new initiative to develop Auckland tourism ambassadors launched this week. The training programme is designed to upskill frontline staff from Auckland tourism businesses, helping them expand their local knowledge, and providing them with simple tools to create positive and memorable experiences for visitors to the region.
With the first edition of Le French Festival to be held in Auckland on Saturday, New Zealand’s travel industry is already being urged to get behind next year’s celebration of all things France. The brainchild of Edouard Le Goff, co-managing director of Le Chef in Vulcan Lane, Auckland; Le French Festival involves a market during the day on 26 August and a sold out dinner for 500 that night.
A new brand of mid to upper standard hotels across New Zealand and more upmarket tours are in the pipeline for Haka Tours – known for hosting international visitors in this country but also educational tours around the globe.
Haka Tours founder Ryan Sanders says the first Haka Hotel will be a four star, minimum service ‘trendy hotel’ opening in Day Street, Auckland behind one of the company’s lodges (on Karangahape Rd) in the next three
Two Queenstown businesses have joined forces with their local high school to oer a student a scholarship to kickstart their global tourism career. AccorHotels’ four Queenstown hotels have partnered with the Queenstown Resort College to award one Wakatipu High School student with a scholarship covering fifty percent of tuition fees for a Diploma in Hospitality Management.
The inbound and domestic travel trade is growing more aware of how lucrative special interest groups and personalisation can be, according to a niche operator who works across both the leisure and business events sector in New Zealand. Jacqui Wilkinson, director sales and marketing Fine Art Tours NZ, says personalisation is key to certain segments.
Twenty-four leading tourism operators and stakeholders have been announced today as finalists in the 2017 New Zealand Tourism Awards. The finalists span the country from Queenstown to Waitangi and include long-established operators as well as new businesses. Accommodation providers, activity and transport operators, educators and researchers are among the finalists. The Awards are closely aligned with the industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework, which aims to grow total annual tourism revenue to $41 billion.The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner in Christchurch on Thursday 7 September.
Medical travel is on the increase and is a growing opportunity for New Zealand travel agents, says one of the well-known operators in that field.
Paul McGowan, director of medical tourism facilitator Stunning Makeovers Limited, says that in the last 12 months the company has seen a 10% increase in clients travelling to Thailand for surgery and dental treatment.
‘Growth from Australasia has been driven by an increase in social media and mainstream media coverage.
One of the biggest chunks of commercial real estate located on the fringe of Dunedin’s central business district – and adjacent to the city’s education hub – has been placed on the market for sale. The huge 7913 square metre site encompasses five separate adjoining titles between Anzac Avenue and Harrow Street.
Great Barrier Island, 100 kilometres north-east of central Auckland, is the first island in the world to be designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in a bid to protect its night skies for present and future generations.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) established the International Dark Sky Places conservation programme in 2001 to recognise ‘excellent stewardship of the night sky’.
Designations are based on scientifically measured darkness of sky as well as stringent outdoor lighting standards and innovative community outreach.
With Auckland expecting 34,000 visitors for the upcoming All Blacks vs The British & Irish Lions Test matches, Alexandra Park is reporting solid bookings from fans as an official pop-up camper van site during the two Tests at Eden Park on 24 June and 8 July.
Alexandra Park sales and marketing manager, Joel Reichardt, says the venue is working with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to help the region cope with the influx of visiting British and Irish
International visitors spend more on food and beverage in Wellington than anywhere else in the country and that figure could increase even more, with plans to send the city’s winter food festival onto the international stage.
At the launch of the Visa Wellington on a Plate (VWOAP) programme, Wellington Culinary Events Trust Board chair, Fran Wilde, said the annual festival has grown as much as it can grow in its present form.
‘You are going to see an incremental change to get international tourists come here in August.
As hotel price gouging during next month’s Lions Tour seems set to be the next weapon in the bed-levy stoush, sporting great Martin Snedden calls for trade and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff to get back to the drawing board.
‘As hard as it is, the best approach for all concerned would be to swallow pride, take the current proposal off the table, and go back to step one – proper consultation,’ he says.
Snedden, director of both the New Zealand Cricket and Auckland World Masters Games 2017, waded into the debate this week saying hotels have played right into Goff’s hands by price gouging during the Masters Games.
While visitors from Australia, China and America are united in wanting to travel to New Zealand, the reasons for doing so are diversified.
That was apparent during a 2017 Tourism Panel that put the microscope on the needs of these markets and their travellers.
Mario Santander, the country manager of New Zealand for American Airlines, says visitors from the US are on the hunt for golfing experiences and high-end resorts: ‘They want to spend the money to take a helicopter to Waiheke to experience the wineries.’
Wyndham Hotel Group yesterday signed its second hotel in Queenstown, helping to plug a shortage of accommodation in the city.
Construction is under way on Wyndham Garden Remarkables, which is slated to open in May next year.
It will be the second Wyndham Garden destination in New Zealand, and Wyndham Hotel Group’s tenth hotel in the country.
Wyndham Hotel Group will introduce a new brand, Ramada ENCORE, to New Zealand.
The soon-to-be Ramada ENCORE Christchurch Colombo Street is being developed under a franchise agreement with Lepdon Holdings and is slated to be completed in late 2017. Once finished, it will bring Wyndham’s portfolio in New Zealand to nine hotels
After a seven-month closure and multi-million dollar refurbishment, the former Mercure Wellington officially rebranded yesterday as the Grand Mercure Wellington.
General manager Leigh Frame says guests and the local industry have been impressed with the transformation.
‘The best response we get is from those who knew the hotel before and see that the change has been quite outstanding.’
Tourism and property company Skyline Enterprises has appointed international business leader Geoff McDonald as the company’s new chief executive.
Rotorua-born and raised McDonald is most recently the former vice president and general manager of global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Australia.
McDonald has spent the past 20 years working in commercial roles across Australia, China, Singapore, South East Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Tourism Export Council NZ (TECNZ) chief executive Lesley Immink has resigned her position after six years of leading the organisation.
Tourism Export Council NZ (TECNZ) Chairman Martin Horgan confirmed Immink will leave the organisation in July.