Hamilton travel broker Karen McIntosh says attending ATE for the first time was important considering Australia is one of the few places her clients can go to right now.
‘I am looking to break out from the seven nights in Gold Coast scenario and find alternatives.’
She says her pre-ATE famil to the Red Centre certainly helped her achieve that objective.
‘We visited Uluru at sunset and sunrise and also segwayed around it. We also visited Kings Canyon and Alice Springs,’ says McIntosh, a member of NZ Travel Brokers.
Julia Bozich, House of Travel, says ATE this year is all about the post-Covid rebuild. ‘We’re looking to expand our product range in line with our whole Discover a Different Australia message.’
Deb Lynch, of inbound operator Unparalleled Journeys, says it is clear that 2020 has given many operators the time to develop new product and do new things.
‘So I am using ATE to see what’s out there and to make sure what we are offering our clients is up to date.’
Bryce Read, of Travel Managers Group, is looking for bespoke group opportunities and value adds with a difference. ‘For example, one Melbourne hotel I talked to is offering a hybrid NMW in the rate.’
Read took a pre-ATE opportunity to visit the Adelaide Hills region, including a stay at Mt Lofty.
Tauranga-based Dan Barbour, Exclusive Travel Group, used the event to reconnect with high end experiences and incorporated a Cairns-Port Douglas famil. ‘Normally I have sales trips to Australia but the last time I was here was 2019. It’s great to be travelling again.’
This year’s event was a different, Covid appropriate format that largely dispensed of supplier booths and instead involved byers from around Australia and New Zealand sitting at tables while suppliers came to them for meetings. The live event, which finishes today, had more than 1000 buyers and sellers in attendance from both Australia and New Zealand including inbound tour operators, luxe buyers, and specialist buyers. ATE Online will follow from 10 to 17 June and will facilitate connections with over 1200 Australian sellers and international buyers who are unable to be in Australia in-person