Hot Topics

Wanderlust Travel Experts has launched stage one of its online experience.

Travel Agent Takeaways is a new podcast created for travel agents in Australia and New Zealand to grab bite-sized destination and supplier updates on the go.

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 23:00

HoT HQ, Orbit AKL’s new location

House of Travel HQ and Orbit Auckland have relocated headquarters to a new, larger office space at level 2, 45 Queen Street, Auckland.

Envoyage has announced South Africa as the destination for its second Worldwide event. Following the success of the Worldwide in Santiago, Chile in May, Envoyage’s next gathering will be at Sun City, South Africa from 12 to 15 September 2025.

The success (as well as the fun factor) of Viva Expeditions’ charter to Antarctica late last year has led to the launch of three more special hosted journeys later this year and into 2025, says company founder Rachel Williams.

The potential for artificial intelligence (AI)  to be manipulated to perpetuate bias and misinformation, especially in travel marketing, has been described as a ‘big concern’ by a travel expert during a recent Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) webinar.

Most corporates either plan on increasing the frequency of business travel or keeping it the same for the remainder of 2024, despite less-than-ideal economic conditions. This is according to recent research commissioned by large corporate and government travel management company, FCM.

The strong demand for luxury travel from New Zealand is unlikely to decrease for at least the next two years judging by advance bookings and interest, according to high end suppliers at the Best of the Best event in Auckland this week.

Wednesday, 26 June 2024 03:17

GTN's new website, appointment

Global Travel Network (GTN) has launched its redesigned website.

The initiative marks a milestone for the company since its inception in January 2016, reflecting its expanding footprint across New Zealand and its partnerships in the Pacific, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

World Journeys reports a strong turn-out for its hosted journeys event in Auckland. An audience of around 100 agents and their clients heard about the new range of small group hosted journeys on offer for 2025.

Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is promising a higher profile in the New Zealand market after a visit last week that included trade sessions in Christchurch and Auckland to provide updates on the A&K, Sanctuary, Crystal and Ecoventura products.

Friday, 14 June 2024 03:29

List of TIME grads grows again

Three new mentees graduated through the Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) on Wednesday night.

The New Zealand Cruise Association has written to members emphasising that it does not support an increase in the International Visitor Levy (IVL).

Thursday, 06 June 2024 22:48

Food tops for young Kiwis

Recent research commissioned by Flight Centre shows young Kiwis tend to rate food at the top of their travel experience list.

Wednesday, 05 June 2024 01:52

HOT's flexible working policy

House of Travel has a new flexible working policy. Under the House of Travel Flexible Working Arrangements policy all employees, regardless of employment status, may request flexible working arrangements based on individual needs and circumstances.

Saturday, 20 April 2024 22:52

A Force for Good 2025 date

A Force for Good is set to return to Auckland on Friday 14 March 2025 after a successful post-Covid comeback last month.

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 20:59

CSR factor in incentive travel

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).

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.

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 23:41

Due diligence for animal tourism

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.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 23:04

Women happy travelling solo

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

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

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.

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.

Friday, 02 February 2024 05:21

Face challenges, embrace AI

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 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.

Thursday, 25 January 2024 23:29

WTO: Positive 2024 outlook

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).

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.

Monday, 22 January 2024 23:31

Travel surge continues

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.

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

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.

Monday, 15 January 2024 22:20

'Bleisure' travel on rise

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.

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.

Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:36

2024 the ‘year of touring'

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’.

Monday, 02 October 2023 00:46

Luxury holiday spend on rise

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.

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 01:07

Incentive travel rebounds

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.

Monday, 25 September 2023 03:08

Industry needs to attract youth

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.

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.

Tuesday, 22 August 2023 21:44

‘You own the sovereignty'

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 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.

Monday, 31 July 2023 04:25

Bumping pax: Don’t blame agents

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

Thursday, 27 July 2023 00:46

Home-based sector shines

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

Monday, 24 July 2023 00:41

Agents converting to cruise

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.

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).

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.

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.

Saturday, 01 July 2023 02:28

Renewed call for mentors

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.

Friday, 30 June 2023 02:32

NZ expands TIME NZ partnership

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

Friday, 23 June 2023 05:51

HLO to acquire ETG/FTG

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.

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.

Thursday, 22 June 2023 23:55

Wendy Wu looks to buoyant 2024

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.

Tuesday, 30 May 2023 18:20

Independence can empower

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.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023 00:42

Gen-Zers are coming

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.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 00:12

House of Travel’s @Home model

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.

Friday, 03 March 2023 20:07

Leisure ‘add-ons’ growing trend

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.