by Aleisha Moore
Auckland agents joined Choose Chicago, Chicago Airport and Air New Zealand mid-November to celebrate the launch of Air New Zealand’s direct Auckland to Chicago service.
Fiona Love from The Travel Corporation won the major prize of the night, which included return flights on Air New Zealand to Chicago, five nights’ accommodation, sight-seeing excursions and more.
The evening was a chance for Chicago promoters to share insider tips, allowing agents to better sell the destination.
Adventure World’s destination expert Jorja Stone has just returned from hosting an agent educational trip to Argentina with Andy Stock, where seven kiwi agents experienced the cultural, artistic and architectural heritage on offer in the region.
Having witnessed the detrimental effects of overtourism around the world, priorities are shifting towards offering a more beneficial, sustainable and less-invasive form of tourism.
Viva Expeditions, Chimu Adventures (flights courtesy of Air New Zealand) took six Orbit Travel Agents plus an Air New Zealand representative on an in-depth tour of Bueno Aires.
Eclipse Travel is reminding agents that from 30 August this year, Peru’s Chachapoyas and Kuélap will become more accessible, with domestic airline LC Perú announcing direct flights between Lima and Chachapoyas each Thursday and Sunday.
Rachel Williams, founder of Viva Expeditions, recently had a date with Latin American ambassadors to discuss tourism trends and ways to grow travel to their countries.
Excite Holidays has launched its latest campaign, The Music That Made America, in conjunction with Brand USA, Travel Portland and Choose Chicago.
Last week, the 2018 winners of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants were unveiled in Bilbao, Spain, and highlighted seven Latin American restaurants in the top 50.
The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau has rebranded and is now known as Memphis Tourism, the official destination marketing organisation representing the tourism and hospitality industry for Memphis and Shelby County.
Eclipse Travel is offering New Zealand travel agents the chance to win a place on a nine day famil to Argentina and Brazil to showcase some of its most popular first timer product.
Agents are being offered a significant finder’s fee for a hosted South America tour departing 20 October. The three week escorted tour of South America with travel blogger and Newstalk ZB travel correspondent Megan Singleton, returns 9 November.
It covers Buenos Aires, Iguacu Falls, Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Santiago. ‘It would be ideal for the mid-life traveller who has South America on their list but wants all the hard work done for them so they are free to just enjoy the history, culture, food and music,’ says Singleton. The tour has space for about four more people and bookings can be made until 30 June. www.bloggeratlarge.com/tours/join-me-in-south-america-in-2018/ or email@example.com
Overcoming historical ideas that Colombia is a dangerous destination was one of the key areas discussed when Viva Expeditions met with the ambassador of Colombia, Jaime Bueno-Miranda and the consulate general of Colombia, Lennin Hernandez recently. Colombia is now one of the most stable nations in Latin America. Colombia is experiencing a tourism renaissance unlike any other. With record low crime rates, booming economic growth, and the promise of increased political stability, Colombia’s tourism arrivals have risen sharply from 3.3 million in 2011 to 5.7 million in 2017. CLICK HERE to view Viva Expedition’s Colombia Highlights holiday.
Four new destinations and the same number of new itineraries – all combining the train journey with a self-paced drive extension – are among the highlights of the latest Rocky Mountaineer programme. The 2019 brochure and travel agents’ sales guide were launched to the New Zealand trade at a high tea at Fairways Conference Centre, North Shore Auckland late last week. Rocky Mountaineer sales manager Helen Hersom says the new destinations are Canmore (sometimes referred to as ‘Little Banff’, nearby Sunshine Village (where guests take a 15 minute gondola ride to the top of a mountain for their accommodation), the outdoor adventure location of Kananaskis, and the helitrekking base of Caboos (which features in a new 10-day itinerary). Hersom says Rocky Mountaineer is expanding its accommodation range in centres that tend to get full in the busy season. She says that while the Silver Leaf service (using three and half to four star accommodation) is popular the vast majority of New Zealand clients (70%) book Gold leaf (five-star accommodation).
Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are jumping onto Harley-Davidsons as an exciting way to see the United States or Australia – but the travel trade is not taking full advantage of this.
Viva Expeditions & Chimu Adventures, supported by Air New Zealand, hosted nine agents to explore north-western Argentina.
Emma Johnson lead the famil and reports: ‘Buenos Aires was our first stop and it did not fail to impress (even in the torrential rain). The El Querandi Tango show was a delight and left us wanting to tango the night away but we had an early start the following morning, to explore what would be the highlight of our trip, Salta Valley & Canyons. We explored the dry dusty desert with colourful mountains, red gorges, Andean puna (grassland) and jagged mountain valleys. A highlight was the Salinas Grandes Salt Flats (an alternative to the famous Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia) and the old towns with a welcoming community, delicious food and wine. Our journey took us across paved and unpaved roads, making for a fun, bumpy journey, climbing high up to 4170 m.a.s.l. And of course we loved indulging at the vineyards of beautiful Cafeyate, and learning of traditional Argentinean winemaking. Ask any one of us what our favourite place was and there were so many, it would be hard to choose. North-western Argentina is definitely one of the most beautiful places in South America.’
For your clients who look for breathtaking scenery, unique culture with strong traditions, and something different they will enjoy what north-western Argentina has to offer. The nine-day Salta Valley & Canyons tour (CLICK HERE) starts from $3388 pp and is best explored April to November, avoiding the rainy season when road closures can disrupt travel.
From 11-13 August, Denver’s River North (RiNo) Art District will host the first-ever Colorado Classic professional cycling race and Velorama Festival. This is a three-day block party highlighting the Colorado Classic finish line, national music acts and a craft marketplace. The events will appeal to a broad audience.
‘Velorama Colorado aims to celebrate many of the things that make Colorado special,’ says David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group. ‘By combining an outdoor sporting event and a block party that includes already popular events like Denver Flea and local vendors, cycling fans can explore a music festival at their bike race, and music fans can experience a professional bike race alongside their music festival. Either way, Velorama promises to be a weekend filled with world-class cycling, broadly appealing music and more.’ The Colorado Classic will be a four-day series of races that will bring together top international men and women cyclists – including Tour de France runner-up, Rigoberto Uran and Colorado’s own three-time Olympian, Taylor Phinney.
Adventure World reminds agents all bookings valued at $2,500 or more made before 31 May 2018 will be in to win a spot on its South America educational in September.
Leaving New Zealand on 5 September, the winning agent will visit Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls and Copacabana Beach in Rio before returning to New Zealand by 16 September. Each booking gives agents another entry into the draw to win this incredible prize, which includes return airfares from Auckland, all accommodation, some meals, sightseeing and airline taxes. CLICK HERE for details.
As South America and Central America interest heats up, so does World Journeys famil contest. By booking any World Journeys South America or Central America (including Cuba) product before 30 June 2018 with a deposit, you can be in to win a FREE place on World Journeys’ 2019 South America Agent Famil, valued at over $2,000.
World Journeys marketing manager Caroline Clegg says ‘Booking higher value tours such as the 34 day Grand Tour of South America or 20 day Castro’s Cuba tour can really push an agent ahead and quickly increase their chances of winning’ says Caroline. The agent with the highest dollar value of new bookings conrmed will win the free spot. For full terms and conditions contact World Journeys 0800 117311 or CLICK HERE
Rail Explorers is heading to Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 2018.
From 12 May until November 2018, visitors can explore the trails and take a scenic ride along historic Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay on a pedal-powered ‘Rail Explorers’ vehicle.
California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain – in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment – has a new, extreme virtual reality experience to one of the world’s tallest and fastest drop tower rides. For a limited time, guests can experience the new DC Super Heroes Drop of Doom VR. Thrill-seekers will don special VR headsets to view the action as Superman and Wonder Woman battle their nemesis, Lex Luthor, while plunging 400 feet at speeds of up to 85 mph.
Visiting bureau representatives from Hawai’i say the timing is just right for an educational trip to remind agents of the geography of the destination – and the distance between the restless volcano of Kilauea and islands such as Maui, O’ahu (which includes Waikiki), and Kaui’i.
Los Angeles has three new hotels in its catalogue, Freehand Los Angeles, Nobu Ryokan Malibu and Kimpton Everly Hotel.
With rooftop pool and Broken Shaker bar now open, Freehand is located in Downtown Los Angeles, and features an array of rooms to suit customer needs.
Dispersal beyond Midtown is just one of the goals to grow New York City as a destination, as well as getting tourists to stay a bit longer in the normal hot spots.
‘We’re wanting to highlight all of New York’s boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn and even Staten Island,’ says Kristin Hellmrich of NYC & Company.
Chimu Adventures & Viva Expeditions ‘Great Sale’ has savings of up to 35% on trips to Central & South America, plus cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic.
The range of tours on sale has expanded to include 20% off all Intrepid & Peregrine Galapagos Cruises Only.
The Rugby 7s World Cup in July was the ‘hook’ for a San Francisco delegation that held a function for the travel trade at the Air New Zealand Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Auckland yesterday – but the visit also provided an opportunity to emphasise some key marketing messages.
Joe D’Alessandro, president and chief executive officer of San Francisco Travel, says the city and its surrounding region continue to distance themselves from any perception that visitors are not welcome.