A group of around 30 trade and media hit Monday morning running mid July when they attended the East Coast USA workshop. Attendees met with 29 representatives from New England, New York City, New York State, Philadelphia, Washington DC and New England in a fast-track run of five-minute interviews at the Maritime Room in Auckland.
East Coast USA delegates then wooed around 100 trade representatives at a function at The Maritime Room last night. The event, bolstered this year by increased airline options to America from New Zealand, has grown from last year when it pulled 20 exhibitors to the city.
Last nght’s Funds for Fiji event in Auckland illustrated just how much the trade in New Zealand gets behind and supports the nation’s tourism sector, says Tourism Fiji chairman Truman Bradley. He says tourism receipts in total increased by 11% in 2015 from F$1.4 billion to F$1.55b.
‘Tourism is the backbone of the Fijian economy and (visitors from) New Zealand increased in value by 16%.’ Bradley was at the event last night, held at Pullman Auckland.
He says that after the ‘devastating event’ of Cyclone Winston there is devastation in one aspect of Fiji and ‘bula as usual’ in another – the after including most of the resorts and other tourism plant. ‘The New Zealand Government and the New Zealand people have joined together to support the rebuild of Fiji.’
'Great wine, great food and great mates' was the theme of Starwood's Christmas gig in Auckland this year. Wholesale partners were hosted by Starwoods's #teamsamoa and #teamfiji at uber cool Ponsonby venue, Mr Toms.
The Michael Flatley production, Lord of the Dance captivated Auckland travel wholesalers this week when Tourism Ireland hosted them to the performance at the Civic Theatre. Pre event was drinks and dinner was at Elliot Stables before being captivated by the troupe that included New Zealand dancer connection Siobhan Connolly.
In Auckland for the first time in over 10 years, exhibitors from Las Vegas mixed and mingled with agents last night at the Crowne Plaza Auckland. The news is that Vegas is ‘hot’, and Kiwis are heading there. Kelly Sawyer from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says the hotels and business partners asked to include Auckland in the annual Australia roadshow due to the growth they are registering from this market. ‘Once we decided to come, the 120 invites to the trade were snapped up – we have actually oversold. It shows that agents want to know about the destination and the state. Vegas is always evolving and while for the last couple of years we have been refurbishing and rebranding properties, we are now building. A 3,500 key Resorts World property is being built on the site of the old Stardust Casino, and there are more in the planning stage.’
Sawyer says the delegation will be back in force for Visit USA in 2016, ‘to keep the memento going.’
Pre book Cirque Du Soleil
‘Kiwis stay longer, spend more and list shows as a priority when in Las Vegas’, says Cirque Du Soleil director of tourism and international travel, Matthew Boone. ‘For this reason we are making available to the New Zealand trade (via the wholesaler) the ability to pre book any of Cirque Du Soleil’s eight Vegas live shows. This new facility allows visitors the ability to choose what show, date and seats they want before they depart NZ. The shows are extremely popular, with ‘O’ at 90% capacity every night, so it will be a great bonus all round.’