Hot Topics

CSR factor in incentive travel

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 20:59

Incentive travel has had a significant facelift in the past few years, with organisers wanting to ensure their groups leave a positive legacy behind when they leave the destination, says Marissa Fernandez, managing director of DMS (Destination Management Services).

Contiki CEO: Plenty of scope in youth market

Friday, 22 March 2024 00:00

Travel agents who are finding it difficult to connect with Gen Z should look towards their parents and grandparents to bridge the gap, says Contiki CEO, Adam Armstrong.

Due diligence for animal tourism

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 23:41

The importance of doing due diligence around wildlife tourism and of educating clients to be mindful of attractions that exploit animals was reiterated at events in New Zealand last week.

Women happy travelling solo

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 23:04

New data from Flight Centre reveals middle-aged women are feeling confident and inspired to travel alone.

2024: The year of celebrations, true holidays

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 22:31

This will be the year of celebrations when it comes to travel, says Amaan Khan, global CEO and managing director of Total Holiday Options.

‘Solidify and Tagify’: Group sets out NZ approach

Thursday, 29 February 2024 04:18

TAG Group’s priority in the New Zealand market now is to bed down and ‘Tagify’ its existing operations here, says managing director APAC Shane Barr.

Visa free travel, AI, rise of loyalty programmes add to Agoda CEO’s optimism

Thursday, 08 February 2024 18:14

Travellers’ ability to take full advantage of innovative technologies and the trend towards fewer travel restrictions are among the reasons to be optimistic about travel in 2024.

Face challenges, embrace AI

Friday, 02 February 2024 05:21

A new international report asserts that the travel and tourism lags other consumer-facing industries in AI adoption and says the sector must act now to leverage the technology’s impact.

Pent-up demand no flash in the pan – still factor for 2024, says World Journeys

Thursday, 01 February 2024 21:15

Pent-up demand for travel remains a factor, despite many New Zealanders being quick to get back out into the world last year, says Chris Lyons, director of World Journeys.

WTO: Positive 2024 outlook

Thursday, 25 January 2024 23:29

International tourism is set to reach 100% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO).

ANZCRO: Demand for ‘untamed’ luxury a trend to watch in 2024

Thursday, 25 January 2024 21:47

Luxury travel came back in full force in 2023, with an unprecedented number of travellers requesting stays in luxury lodges, indulging in private sightseeing and transfers to take their Australian or domestic holiday to new heights, according to Australia and New Zealand holiday specialist company ANZCRO.

Travel surge continues

Monday, 22 January 2024 23:31

Flight Centre says it has already seen a surge in bookings and website visits as it seems Kiwis are trying to get over their post-holiday blues by booking their next one.

TAG launches NZ office, acquires Sound Travels

Monday, 22 January 2024 22:27

Travel and event management company TAG (The Appointment Group NZ) has acquired Sound Travels, marking TAG’s entrance into the New Zealand market.

Year of living sensibly: Outbound sector numbers ‘about right’ says stalwart

Monday, 22 January 2024 22:16

The New Zealand travel trade can expect to be as busy as last year as it heads into 2024 but the sector still needs to be careful about the way forward in the medium to long term, says John Willson, general manager retail at First Travel Group.

'Bleisure' travel on rise

Monday, 15 January 2024 22:20

Small and medium enterprise (SME) travel specialist company, Corporate Traveller is suggesting Kiwis look at ways to leverage off their corporate travel this year to gain important work/life balance.

AI the major megatrend on airline, airport agendas, says report from SITA

Friday, 15 December 2023 22:48

Generative AI technology has jumped to the top of airport and airline agendas, according to an updated Meet the Megatrends report just released by transport industry IT provider SITA.

The research shows that 97% of airlines are planning a programme to develop the technology.

2024 the ‘year of touring'

Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:36

A strong and growing ‘new to touring’ market, the rise of multi-generation travellers in the category and people’s desire to stay away for longer periods are all providing extra opportunities for agents, says The Travel Corporation's managing director Oceania tour brands, Toni Ambler.

Ambler has been in New Zealand this week speaking to trade partners and says there is a general feeling that 2024 is ‘the year of touring’.

Luxury holiday spend on rise

Monday, 02 October 2023 00:46

Travel Associates is reporting an increase in clients’ average spending, with some outlaying six-figure-sums on dream holidays.

For August, average spending is up 47% year on year, with bookings made up of a combination of flights, tours and cruises.

Incentive travel rebounds

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 01:07

The incentive travel sector is going from strength to strength, with its global market value projected to reach £174 billion by 2031, according to the latest IBTM World’s 2023 Incentive Travel Report.

Industry needs to attract youth

Monday, 25 September 2023 03:08

With travel agents being valued by clients to a higher level than they have enjoyed for many years, the future for the industry looks bright, delegates at the weekend’s First Travel Conference heard from CEO Malcolm MacLeod.

Digital lens with human expertise: Flight Centre sees future in ‘optionality’

Monday, 25 September 2023 02:47

Increasing channel optionality and cementing a reputation as holiday experts with a ‘flights plus’ strategy were highlighted in a business update by Flight Centre Brands global managing director Andrew Stark this week.

‘You own the sovereignty'

Tuesday, 22 August 2023 21:44

Independent agents are the masters of their own destiny, FCTG NZ Independent GM Jason Buckley reminded delegates at the SOAR themed conference in Brisbane.

‘Our sovereignty and our culture is our independence.’

Travel Associates’ growth plans prompted by demand for luxury holidays

Friday, 11 August 2023 20:56

Travel Associates is continuing plans to expand its presence in the New Zealand market to meet demands following an increase in Kiwis making luxury holiday bookings.

Data from Travel Associates shows bookings for business class airfares have increased 22% month-on-month for May 2023, compared to the previous month.

Bumping pax: Don’t blame agents

Monday, 31 July 2023 04:25

Airlines appear to be overselling flights and blaming travel agents when passengers are bumped, according to the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ).

Home-based sector shines

Thursday, 27 July 2023 00:46

As challenging as it was, Covid had a silver lining for travel brokers – including boosting the standing of agents who work from where they live, says Mike Southcombe, general manager Travel Advocates NZ

Agents converting to cruise

Monday, 24 July 2023 00:41

The number of new to cruise agents is on the rise, including amongst those who have had years in the trade but not previously actively sold the category, says Jeff Leckey, general manager of HOT Cruise.

CLIA sustainability survey: ‘We need to include travel agents on path forward’

Tuesday, 18 July 2023 04:17

Thousands of travel agents across New Zealand and Australia will be able to share their views on sustainability and responsible travel through an industry survey sent to members yesterday afternoon by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Cities, shopping, nature to fore as global travel trends return to ‘business as usual’

Saturday, 15 July 2023 00:39

Shopping and exploring the world’s urban hot spots have made a comeback during this year’s northern summer, according to the latest report from analytics company ForwardKeys.

The research shows that while ‘sun and beach’ destinations recovered quickly from the Covid-19 downturn as travel routes gradually opened over the last couple of years, alternatives such as shopping destinations are the stars in 2023.

Lack of stats ‘incredibly disappointing’ says NZCA

Tuesday, 11 July 2023 20:10

The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) has expressed its disappointment that StatsNZ will no longer be providing cruise ship traveller and expenditure statistics due to budget and resource constraints.

Renewed call for mentors

Saturday, 01 July 2023 02:28

The Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) has reiterated its need to attract more mentors for the programme.

TIME NZ chair Andrew Gay says the lack of mentors is now impacting on the number of mentees who can go through the programme. ‘It’s holding us back,’ he says.

NZ expands TIME NZ partnership

Friday, 30 June 2023 02:32

Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) has announced a two-year extension to its strategic partnership with Air New Zealand.

HLO to acquire ETG/FTG

Friday, 23 June 2023 05:51

Helloworld Travel Limited has agreed to acquire 100% of Express Travel Group brands in Australia and New Zealand from current owners Tom Manwaring and Sintack Pty Ltd.

These brands include First Travel Group, YOU Travel, and Lifestyle Holidays in New Zealand; Express Travel Group, Creative Cruising and Chung Pak Travel in Australia.

Clients not leaving things to sporting chance as they book into offshore events

Friday, 23 June 2023 05:43

Offshore sporting events are definitely back on New Zealanders radar and when they want to go, they go, according to Tony Ujdur, director of High Performance Travel & Events.

‘There is a lot more determination now, people are committed to booking. Before (2020) there were a lot more enquiries that may come to nothing.

Wendy Wu looks to buoyant 2024

Thursday, 22 June 2023 23:55

Wendy Wu Tours continues to increase departures on many of its tours, doubling dates for 2024 in popular destinations such as Japan, Korea, Egypt and Jordon.

Managing director Paul Dymond says there is also strong interest in Turkey while even places like Uzbekistan and wider central Asia are selling out.

Independence can empower

Tuesday, 30 May 2023 18:20

Going out as an independent agent can at first seem daunting – however with support teams and systems to help and guide new members this can be the start of an empowering and rewarding move, says Jason Buckley, general manager of FCTG Independent.

Buckley says now is a great time for travel professionals in general.

Gen-Zers are coming

Tuesday, 18 April 2023 00:42

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, younger consumers actually want more human support than their elders, according to a recent survey by Travelport.

The study looked at modern retailing in general and then examined how demands and trends in the sector related directly to travel agents and brokers.

House of Travel’s @Home model

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 00:12

Former travel consultants looking to return to the industry under their own terms have another option that sits between the traditional in-store and broker models.

House of Travel’s new Home Based Consultant model – HOT @Home is managed by former consultant and retail manager, Jason Todd.

Leisure ‘add-ons’ growing trend

Friday, 03 March 2023 20:07

An increasing desire of incentive programme clients to increase their time away with leisure excursions pre or post-event is one of the biggest trends in corporate group travel, according to both suppliers and trade buyers at an event in Auckland recently.

The Destination Marketing Services (DMS) re-Connect expo attracted some 50 incentive and high end leisure agents at the Maritime Room who took the opportunity to catch up with 18 destination management companies (DMCs) and other suppliers from around the globe.

Helloworld recruiting

Tuesday, 28 February 2023 20:16

Helloworld is expanding its retail and commercial operations with the appointment of Brooke Jamieson as the head of branded retail and commercial.

Chris Hunter, general manager NZ of Helloworld, points out that Jamieson has been part of the team for the last seven years, serving in various commercial roles.

Travel sellers’ reputations ‘on line’ if they don’t check suppliers’ green credentials

Monday, 06 February 2023 04:29

Being alert to green-washing and carefully checking the practices of supply chain partners are among the ways travel sellers can ensure more sustainable travel practices as the industry rebounds from Covid shutdowns, product mangers and agents heard at a conference in Papeete last week.

Travel sector’s boom an opportunity to attract people back to industry

Wednesday, 01 February 2023 03:38

The probability that the travel industry will continue to thrive through 2023 may attract people back to the industry and help alleviate the staff shortage as the year goes on, says Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) president Brent Thomas.

Signs are growing that a number of sectors, including real estate, will be in for a tough year but continuing pent up demand and increased capacity means travel retailers are likely to avoid the worst impacts of economic slow-downs.

Trans-Tasman bounce back

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 20:41

Small and medium enterprise (SME) travel operator, Corporate Traveller (part of the Flight Centre Travel Group), says its latest figures show both Kiwi and Australian businesses can’t get enough of being face to face with each other.

Auckland is the number one international destination for Australian corporate travellers in 2022 and vice versa with Sydney topping New Zealand’s outbound business destination list.

Luxury travel set to stay full steam ahead in 2023, says Virtuoso

Monday, 16 January 2023 23:56

High-net-worth travellers from New Zealand and Australia are booking international hotels and resorts further ahead than before, according to figures from Virtuoso.

This year’s bookings are averaging 11 months in advance – up 25% from nine months in 2022. The desire to book in advance is driven by increasing rates, the scarcity of inventory and the ongoing demand for travel to make up for lost trips and experiences.

Exotic’s MD notes trends as 13th anniversary looms

Monday, 16 January 2023 23:34

Exotic Holidays marks its 13th anniversary tomorrow (18 January) and managing director Rahul Sharma says the company is looking build on trends experienced last year.

He says 2022 saw diverse business for Exotic – not only in terms of destinations booked but also the type of travel engaged in – from FIT and leisure groups, through to VFR plus corporate travel and incentives.

TAANZ CEO: Time to enhance protection of funds, become high trust consumer brand

Tuesday, 08 November 2022 17:18

Now is the time to really drive home the value message of dealing with a Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) accredited agent – especially when it comes to the protection of their money, says the organisation’s chief executive officer Greg Hamilton.

(Simon) Bridges and rooftops

Friday, 07 October 2022 00:53

Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges says that despite some challenges he is feeling optimistic about the immediate future of the city.

Speaking at a Skal Auckland lunch at the Rydges Auckland’s rooftop yesterday, he notes that finding staff and staying profitable amidst surging inflation remained as major issues.

Avoiding economic 'hard landing'

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 21:21

Increased travel will be a silver lining for both the New Zealand and Australian economies amid the global challenges of high inflation, supply chain disruptions and the conflict in Ukraine, says one of the region’s leading economists.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham has released sneak highlights of his upcoming presentation at Flight Centre Corporate’s hybrid Illuminate conference on 20 October.

Cruise urged to talk to locals

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 21:47

A Sydney-based cruise executive who offered to help Kiwi regional tourism offices and local operators spread a positive message around their communities is likely to get a few calls in coming weeks.

The need to dispel negative perceptions of cruise in some of the public was a much touched on topic during the New Zealand Cruise Association conference in Auckland last week.

Luxon's advice to industry

Saturday, 06 August 2022 00:08

The travel and tourism sectors have been urged by Leader of the Opposition, Chris Luxon to take the future into their own hands and then work with the government of the day to enable those plans.

Speaking at the Skal Auckland Club lunch at the Northern Club on Thursday, Luxon said it was time to for the industry to think more strategically than it had in the past.

The task ahead for staffing

Friday, 22 July 2022 02:30

The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) is noting some positive movement in terms of increasing staff numbers on the front line, despite human resources still being a major challenge for the industry.

Chief executive Greg Hamilton says he is hearing from a number of members who have done well at attracting people back and employing new staff.

Positive travel experiences breaking down hesitancy

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 21:23

Having people return from exotic locations and report how hassle free and enjoyable the experience was will help break down resistance from Kiwis who may still be cautious and reluctant to head offshore, says a well known tour operator.

Andy Richards, director of Maher Escorted Travel, recently returned from a 28-day tour with a group of 13 to Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Second Travel Partners Forum

Saturday, 02 July 2022 20:50

A ‘charter’ or template around the protection of consumer funds and a ‘plain English’ list of frequently asked questions and answers are both possible outcomes of the second Travel Partners Forum involving The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) and suppliers to the industry.

Greg Hamilton, chief executive officer of TAANZ, noted that at the first such meeting early this year, participants were concerned about consumer confidence around getting back on planes and travelling again.

Growth for World Travellers

Thursday, 30 June 2022 23:54

The World Travellers Group is reporting growth with the addition of nine new stores to the network over the last few months.

Stretching from Whangarei to Queenstown, the new stores add to the geographic spread of the group.

Qualifying clients, fees upfront

Saturday, 25 June 2022 03:23

Qualifying clients right from the start and charging a fee at the front end are taking on added significance as travel continues to ramp up across leisure, corporate, groups and events, says high profile Christchurch based retailer David Williams.

The managing director of House of Travel Christchurch City, Williams says in 10 weeks of this year the company has done the same turnover as the whole of 2021 and a third of what it achieved in 2019.