New Zealand

Luxury Waiheke with Viva

Monday, 14 September 2020 20:19

Viva has launched an easy getaway for couples, friends and foodies on Waiheke Island.

Clients stay in a boutique luxury lodge with ocean views and an in-house fine dining chef who will design a four course dining experience to suit.

'Agent-centric’ domestic wholesaler

Monday, 14 September 2020 20:12

Two travel industry stalwarts have launched what they describe as an ‘agent-centric’ domestic wholesaler. New Zealand 4 Discovery has been created by Mike Geary, formerly of GO Holidays and House of Travel; and Francis Mortimer, previously with Air New Zealand.

More recently, the two have run their own travel businesses – Geary in hotel representation across the South Pacific and Mortimer wholesaling inbound travel from the French markets.

Trade opps with bespoke tours

Thursday, 10 September 2020 08:07

Lesiure Time is promoting a range of tours in New Zealand that incorporate special interest themes. These include gardening, walking and wine and cuisine through to aviation, rail, agriculture and small boat experiences.

Vicki Annison, sales and marketing manager with Leisure Time Travel says the bespoke tours give definite opportunities to the trade.

Viva's luxury Wairarapa getaway

Thursday, 10 September 2020 08:04

Viva is offering an escape to the countryside region of Wairarapa, where the views and incredible wineries make an ideal setting for a short luxury getaway from Wellington. 

Clients stay in the luxury of Wharekauhau's country estate, set above Palliser Bay.  They can relax in front of the fireplace and/or take a walk or bike ride on one of the many trails over the estate.

One for bird lovers

Thursday, 03 September 2020 05:08

A nature cruise on Okarito Lagoon, on the West Coast, is a key feature of MoaTours’ Southern Beauty tour.

MoaTours founder Ena Hutchinson points out that Okarito Lagoon is New Zealand’s largest pristine wetland and home to 76 bird species. Most notably it is the only breeding area in the country of the kotuku or white heron.

AAT Kings' NZ Panorama tour

Thursday, 03 September 2020 05:04

An ‘indepth and slower paced journey’ titled New Zealand Panorama is a new tour in AAT Kings’ 2021/22 programme launched last week.

The programme also includes added exclusive experiences in existing itineraries, plus stringent new wellbeing protocols. There is a 10% early bird discount on selected trips and a $99 per person deposit offer, allowing guests 30 days to change their mind.

Tailoring tours gives traction

Thursday, 03 September 2020 04:43

Working with agents to tailor make packages for their clients has become a successful strategy for Inspired New Zealand Tours as domestic passengers look for something bespoke in a domestic holiday.

Director John Gregory says groups can be as small as six, benefiting on a personal level by touring with international standard drivers and guides.

Covering the Coromandel

Thursday, 03 September 2020 04:29

Leisure Time Travel is promoting a five day Coromandel Sights and Beaches tour mid April.

Leisure Time’s marketing manager Vicki Annison says the itinerary from 13 to 17 April, takes in the Rapaura Water Gardens, Driving Creek Railway, Matarangi, Buffalo Beach, Whitianga, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and Whangamata.

Return of travel industry bowls

Thursday, 13 August 2020 23:04


A New Zealand travel and tourism industry tradition will return this year, with the Auckland Skal bowling tournament scheduled for Thursday 3 December.

NZ hotels ‘flooded’ with lockdown cancellations

Thursday, 13 August 2020 22:50

Hotels throughout New Zealand are being inundated with mass booking cancellations as the impact of Covid-19 lockdown hits an already decimated sector.

MoaTours adds East Cape

Monday, 03 August 2020 23:21

With the first two departure dates fully booked, MoaTours has added three extra dates for its East Cape Caper: 8 to 13 November, 18 to 23 January and 17 to 22 February.

Park Hyatt: come and see us

Monday, 03 August 2020 23:17

Wholesalers, corporate travel managers and meeting planners are being urged to check out New Zealand’s latest luxury offering in accommodation before it opens on 15 September.

Domestic travellers saving grace for AKL

Monday, 03 August 2020 23:00

The number of domestic flights operating from Auckland Airport made it one of the busiest in Australasia and Asia in the month of June.

‘On yer bike’, advice to clients can lead to benefits for agents

Friday, 31 July 2020 03:32

 Multi generational travel, ‘hub and spoke’ itineraries, and complex trips combining food, wine and adventure are all areas that travel agents can work in to benefit from Kiwis’ increasing desire to get on their bikes.

Janet Purdy, general manager of Ngā Haerenga The NZ Cycle Trail, says agents are definitely engaging with the organisarion and its operators and earning commission as a result.

‘Deeper dive’ is key

Monday, 27 July 2020 23:45


Regions and other places that can tell a different story and provide a ‘deeper dive’ into local experiences are the ones that are most likely to succeed in the domestic market, says Louise Frend, destination advisor with Destination Kaikōura.

Simple, saleable solution

Monday, 27 July 2020 23:28

Cruise World reports its NZ Traveller series has had a solid start since it launched a few weeks ago.

‘We did a lot of quoting in the first couple of weeks and in the last two weeks bookings have been coming in, which is encouraging, ‘says general manager Cherryl Browne. ‘Some enquiry is for the standard package and others have done customising with pre and post package arrangements.’

Rails, whales and wine

Monday, 20 July 2020 23:36

Cruise World has released its latest New Zealand package – TranzAlpine, Vines & Whales, four nights, five days Christchurch return.

The independent itinerary showcases the TranzAlpine scenic train trip from Christchurch to Greymouth, with self-drive independence from Greymouth to Punakaiki and along to Blenheim. Clients help deliver

Viva launches NZ

Monday, 20 July 2020 23:34

Viva Expeditions has a new range of luxury experiences in New Zealand. It has more than 30 domestic trips - exclusive heli-tours, remote luxury lodges, sub-Antarctic adventures and more.

Domestic gearing – ‘help is at agents’ fingertips’

Monday, 20 July 2020 23:20

Travel agents gearing themselves more to the domestic market, and wanting to avoid challenges of dealing with individual properties and operators while looking like instant experts to their clients, have resources and channels at their fingertips, says David Kettle, director of nzsidekick.

Country roads and a garden fair

Monday, 13 July 2020 23:05

MoaTours’ Country Roads & Cross Hills Gardens Fair is a seven-day, six-night small group tour that visits country gardens of the Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Northern Wairarapa and Manawatu in the spring.

Leisure Time enhances agent portal

Thursday, 09 July 2020 22:25

Tweaking the brand to reflect a more diverse offering and enhancing its agency portal for local trade servicing the domestic market, are two recent initiatives of Leisure Time Travel.

Managing director, Scott Mehrtens says the company’s name, Leisure Time Tours has strong recognition but there was a need to emphasise the wider range of travel offerings.

Cruise World NZ heads south

Tuesday, 07 July 2020 02:15

Cruise World’s NZ Traveller has released The Catlins & Stewart Island package, designed to support travel agents and provide something for them to easily promote, offer and book.

Apex's subscription service

Monday, 06 July 2020 23:33

Apex Car Rentals has launched a new car subscription service. Apex Subscribe provides a 28-day car rental for a monthly fee and includes insurance, maintenance, registration, and roadside assistance.

‘Technically overseas’

Sunday, 05 July 2020 23:23

A ‘technically overseas destination’ that is reached without leaving New Zealand is gaining popularity amongst consumers and consequently providing opportunities for the travel trade.

Tourism Chatham Islands manager, Jackie Gurden, says one of the key drivers for growth right now is the inability of Kiwis to head offshore for their holidays. ‘One operator has completely filled tours with people who have cancelled their overseas trip, and they weren’t necessarily existing clients.’

Southern sell out – more dates

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 00:05

MoaTours has added new dates to its Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & the Catlins tour, following the sell out of two previously advertised tours.

Small operators seek big voice in recovery

Monday, 29 June 2020 23:51

A group designed to ensure that small operators in the tourism sector get their say in the future of tourism has grown from a handful of members to more than 120 in its Facebook group in the space of a week.

Local Escapes by Insight

Friday, 26 June 2020 23:23

Insight Vacations has launched its first Local Escapes collection, a selection of five itineraries across New Zealand and Australia.

Scott Cleaver, The Travel Corporation’s general manager says a recent survey of Insight Vacations’ Kiwi clients showed that 74% are comfortable to travel locally in 2020.

Further local research done by Insight revealed that 46% of domestic travel is driven by a desire to give back to local business and communities, and 56% of travellers want to see a clear and outlined hygiene and wellbeing policy before booking.  

Agents are reminded that future travel credits may be redeemed to book the Local Escapes trips. Insight Vacations has also introduced $99 deposits on new bookings until 1 September 2020, and a 30-day refund guarantee.

The Local Escapes collection, available to book now, includes five itineraries across New Zealand and Australia with departures starting from September and continuing into 2021. Among the choices are: Taste of New Zealand’s North Island, Scenic Roads of the South Island, and Tasmania’s Food, Whiskey & Wine. All five itineraries are available to book now.

‘Behind the scenes NZ, with international touch’ offered by Wendy Wu

Thursday, 25 June 2020 23:19

A touch of the Wendy Wu Tours’ international experience combined with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at New Zealand provide a point of difference for the company’s just launched domestic programme, says managing director Paul Dymond.

‘We didn’t want to put something into the market that was already there,’ says Dymond. ‘These are fully inclusive tours aimed specifically at the Wendy Wu customer – and we’ve got hundreds of

Gardens and goldrush

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 00:08

The combination of gardens and gold rush towns gives MoaTours’ Otago Farmhouse Gardens and Oamaru Victorian Fete tour a point of difference for clients.

TranzAlpine resumes July

Monday, 22 June 2020 23:56

KiwiRail’s TranzAlpine train service between Christchurch and Greymouth will be back from 4 July.

Domestic uptake encouraging

Thursday, 11 June 2020 21:47

New Zealand agents’ enthusiasm for promoting and selling domestic programmes has been an encouraging development in recent weeks, says Nick Guthrey, managing director of ANZCRO.

Guthrey has added his voice to calls for a trans Tasman travel bubble and feels that the desire to get people doing different things in their own country may translate to a new approach by Kiwis in Australia as well.

‘World tours’ in NZ

Tuesday, 09 June 2020 02:13

AIM Holidays has launched a series of domestic special interest tours under the banner ‘Bring the World to New Zealand’.

Fiordland goes beyond belief

Sunday, 07 June 2020 00:25

The ‘Fiordland - Beyond Belief’ campaign was launched this week, targeting domestic travellers now and positioning Te Anau as ‘base camp’, while opening the eyes of international visitors to the fact there’s more to Fiordland than Milford Sound.

Destination Fiordland manager, Madeleine Peacock says the challenge was to find a positioning that reflects all the region’s majesty and helps drive visitation by making Fiordland an authentic and unmissable part of

Fishing in Fiordland

Sunday, 07 June 2020 00:22

Leisure Time Tours is offering an escape to Fiordland on what it describes as the ‘ultimate fishing trip.’

Vicki Annison, sales and marketing manager with Leisure Time Group, says guests start the weekend flying from Queenstown by helicopter to a privately chartered boat cruising one of the fiords in the area.

They spend the next two days on-board exploring Fiordland, fishing, diving, kayaking, or paddle boarding. ‘Fiordland is a special place for fishing as there are a wide variety of local and seasonal fish species to be

Active Asia's NZ packages

Friday, 29 May 2020 00:59

What started as a ‘crisis project’ for Asian specialist Active Asia, has become an integral part of what the company does, says Valentina Mould-Morelli, creative director and marketing.

‘New Zealand is the natural world we call home and it will still cause clients to catch their breath.

‘Despite the plethora of competition out there selling New Zealand, we felt there was still space for something new.’

Essential NZ tours

Monday, 25 May 2020 23:43

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.

Inspired NZ Tours: new site

Thursday, 21 May 2020 23:00

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.

Tour to NI’s top 'Gram' spots

Thursday, 21 May 2020 22:49

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. 

Trade part of ZQN campaign

Thursday, 21 May 2020 21:59

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 and generate referrals.

New tours for Bush and Beach

Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:24

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.

Stewart Island, Catlins opportunity for agents and clients

Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:22

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.

Venus to orbit NZ for a while

Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:13

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’.

New central SI brand targets domestic and Oz

Monday, 18 May 2020 21:06

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.

TNZ confident of visitor economy, operators less certain

Monday, 18 May 2020 08:18

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.  

ITOs 'can't hibernate'

Friday, 15 May 2020 00:17

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.

East Cape Caper tour

Monday, 11 May 2020 23:56

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’ new NZ self drive packages

Monday, 11 May 2020 23:41

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.

Bleak outlook for NZ hotels

Monday, 11 May 2020 23:33

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' new trips

Monday, 11 May 2020 22:32

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.

Trade key for Leisure Time Tours

Thursday, 07 May 2020 20:56

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.

Opps for off the beaten track

Tuesday, 05 May 2020 06:11

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.

Reduncancies for inbounders

Friday, 01 May 2020 05:38

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.’


Waiting game for timing hints

Friday, 24 April 2020 00:11

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.’

Kiwi B&Bs waiting to be paid

Thursday, 16 April 2020 23:51

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.