Winners from the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) have been quick to thank others involved in their success – including teams, award sponsors and the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) which organises the massive event.
The Air New Zealand Holidays Travel Broker brand is ‘very much alive and active’ in the industry after 17 brokers moved to NZ Travel Brokers under the new partnership with Air New Zealand, say NZTB directors Steve Lee and Guy Flynn in a joint statement.
It was a keen bunch of cyclists that hit the slopes of One Tree Hill in Auckland early last Saturday morning when Team Cordis Orange had their first training ride together in preparation for this year’s Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in November.
The push to an increasing desire for traveller self booking, using an array of tools, greater knowledge and awareness of risk for at risk destinations are among the trends being seen by Orbit World of Travel Christchurch.
The three mountains under the New Zealand Ski banner took the snow from the South Island to Auckland for a launch party last week.
SO Auckland is set to open in the latter part of 2018. Located in the heart of Auckland’s central business district and neighbour to the Britomart precinct and waterfront, SO Auckland occupies the once home of the Reserve Bank housing the country’s gold stockpile.
Hilton intends doubling its number of Australasian hotels in the next five years and New Zealand is an important part of the growth, according to the region vice-president operations with the hotel company, Heidi Kunkel. Kunkel was in New Zealand this week, having begun the role six weeks ago (the experienced hospitality professional was most recently with Club Med for 15 years) and says the aim is to have a Hilton and at least one DoubleTree in every major city or tourist centre in the country. Next to open is DoubleTree Wellington in July, adding to a presence Hilton already has in Auckland, Lake Taupo, Christchurch and Queenstown. ‘This is an incredibly exciting time for the travel industry, full of enthusiasm, confidence and opportunities.’
Getting the trade more acquainted with the Avani name as well as spreading the word about Minor Hotels’ other brands is a key objective of the sales team in New Zealand. While a significant amount of attention is on the Avani Metropolis in Kitchener Street Auckland, the company is also highlighting a new build project in Wellington, its growing portfolio of Oaks and Avani properties both here and in Australia, and the Anantara collection based mainly through Thailand.
Auckland based Shweta Mhatre, area director of sales, and Amy Armstrong, business development manager say the Avani in Auckland officially launched last November and the key now is to promote the hotel and others in the portfolio to the trade. To this end a roadshow will be held late June in addition to ongoing sales calls. (Details to come in TRAVELinc Memo.) ‘We want to reach the inbounders but also outbound retailers and wholesalers, brokers, corporate travel agents and managers, and government sector meeting planners.’
The new hotel in Wellington will be in the newly earthquake strengthened Colonial Motor Company Building on Courtenay Place. It will have 226 rooms and is expected to open around mid-2019. Avani Metropolis Residences in Auckland, meantime, is right in the CBD, easy walking distance to the harbour (Britomart is 550 metres away, Downtown Ferry terminal 650 metres), and adjacent to Albert Park. The property has its own gym and swimming pool, while numerous cafes, restaurants and bars are a couple of minutes walk away.
First timer at TRENZ, inbound group tour operator Manaaki Adventures NZ is a real-life manifestation of turning passion into reality. The company was co-founded by Kiwis Hemi Coates and Dan Meade, both ex PE and outdoor education teachers who decided to turn their love for teaching and the outdoors into a business, while also spotting a gap in the market for quality inbound rugby tours.
Tourism New Zealand aims to grow the visitor spend in the regions by $1 billion per annum (from 2023), and has also announced changes to its 100% Pure Tourism New Zealand brand. ‘Tourism New Zealand will help regional tourism grow by $1 billion per annum more than current numbers by developing, implementing and promoting strategies that are inclusive of our regions as well as the gateways that connect them to the world,’ says Stephen England-Hall, chief executive. ‘Over the coming months Tourism New Zealand will source and share new valuable visitor insights with industry and government to guide decision making and identify opportunities.’
There will also be a brand refresh for TNZ. ‘The brand is incredibly successful, showcasing the country’s landscapes and scenery and has worked because it reinforces the key reasons visitors choose New Zealand,’ says England-Hall. However, he says what it doesn’t do is showcase New Zealand’s people and culture, their way of being and the warm welcome they extend. ‘This is what we know stays with people after they have visited, and becomes the essence of our brand that people share and talk about long after they return to their country,’ he says. Tourism New Zealand is working with Māori Tourism and will talk to a range of stakeholders over the coming months to incorporate people and culture into New Zealand’s tourism brand. ‘Our people and culture are diverse and multifaceted and we need to make sure we capture this authentically and deliver something Kiwis will embrace,’ he says. ‘It’s very easy to screw up so we’re taking our time to make sure we are doing it right.’
Speakers explored a number of opportunities that could up visitation to New Zealand, especially in the low season, when The Auckland Airport International Travel Summit 2018 was held in Dunedin yesterday ahead of TRENZ. Kiwi broadcaster Alison Mau opened the event, with Scott Tasker, GM of aeronautical commercial at Auckland Airport one of the key speakers who touched on change, and the different ways the industry can navigate it.
INFLITE has purchased Skydive Franz Josef Glacier, the country’s only skydive operator to offer a 19,000ft skydive.
Flying from the popular West Coast town of Franz Josef, jumpers are able to freefall from 19,000ft above the Westland and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Parks which form part of the Te Wāhipounamu - South West New Zealand
A need to keep up with the fast changing business environment has been identified as a crucial factor if travel agents wish to remain relevant and successful. Margot Dow, who is a finalist in the best Travel Agency Manager – Corporate category of the upcoming National Travel Industry Awards, says it is critical for the industry to keep well informed on products such as Uber and Airbnb.’
Fuzion Travel has signed a new long term lease on premises in Dominion Rd, Auckland, with the move coming on the back of what the company describes as ‘rapid growth’. Stuart McKay, director of Fuzion Travel, says the company now has affiliates / brokers in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin.
A move by tourism teachers to form a dedicated association looks set to have a positive downstream result for employers in the travel and tourism sectors.
When the Flight Centre team at Auckland Airport turn up for work each day they have little idea of what they will be dealing with over the next few hours, but they do know one thing – it won’t be the same as the day before.