Jo Kendall, helloworld Avonhead, with Wendy Wu, Lisa Anthony, and Paul Dymond of Wendy Wu Tours. Kendall won a trip for two to Wellington (including flights and accommodation and tickets) to see the Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa Jo Kendall, helloworld Avonhead, with Wendy Wu, Lisa Anthony, and Paul Dymond of Wendy Wu Tours. Kendall won a trip for two to Wellington (including flights and accommodation and tickets) to see the Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa

Wendy Wu: Japan still booms; specialist knowledge crucial

Japan has plenty of life in it yet as a travel destination out of New Zealand and agents should get familiar with the opportunities it provides for their clients, says the founder of Wendy Wu Tours.

Wendy Wu is currently in New Zealand for her second visit and Auckland agents will be able to catch up with her at a function this evening. On Sunday she attended the Flight Centre Travel Expo in Christchurch and yesterday hosted Canterbury agents to a breakfast at Ilex in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. ‘Japan is still thriving. Make sure you are equipped with the knowledge that will allow you to drive your Japan sales.’ Wu says agents should acquaint themselves with tours such as Japan Uncovered and Discover Japan. ‘At the Flight Centre Expo, so many people were interested in Japan. To capture bookings you should have specialist knowledge, so it is important you take advantage of training and fam trips. ‘It is really only the beginning of the boom for Japan. After the Olympics (next year) interest will go up, because that happens with most countries (that host the event).’

 

Meanwhile, Wu says agents should watch for a coming trend in China – international travellers heading to the elevated ‘glass walkways’ in various parts of the country. ‘It is already popular with domestic tourists and we’ll soon have tours in the market.’ Wendy Wu Tours is celebrating its 25th anniversary and Wu says it started ‘by accident’ when her partner of the time was unable to accompany her on a trip to China. ‘I put out a small ad detailing the places I was going to and asking if anyone wanted to join me.’ Plenty of calls came in and despite no one actually travelling with her (because of the tight timeframe to get a visa) it served as the start of a database. ‘Out of all the people who called I got my first group of 16 and from there it grew because people who travelled with me told their friends and families.’

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