Christine Consunji, Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove – Anaheim; Jodi van de Wydeven, NZ Travel Brokers; Marie Enriquez, Anaheim Desert Palms Hotel & Suites Christine Consunji, Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove – Anaheim; Jodi van de Wydeven, NZ Travel Brokers; Marie Enriquez, Anaheim Desert Palms Hotel & Suites

Brand USA Expo back big time

After a three-year hiatus, the Brand USA New Zealand Expo returned to Auckland this week.

It was held at the Pullman Auckland Hotel in partnership with Air New Zealand and United Airlines with Kiwi travel agents coming from across the country.

With 41 USA destination exhibitors and product suppliers, and 240 New Zealand travel agents and wholesalers in attendance, the expo – which followed an industry happy hour networking event at the same venue - provided an ideal opportunity to showcase key updates to a highly engaged audience.

Staci Mellman senior vice-president, integrated marketing at Brand USA says the travel industry is experiencing a period of massive growth which means now is a perfect time to re- connect and engage with industry partners to inspire Kiwis’ back to the USA. ‘With increased airlift to the USA from New Zealand, including direct routes to destinations such as Chicago and New York, it’s an exciting time ahead.’

Qantas sponsored Manhattan-themed cocktails and branded donuts for the event and commissioned local graffiti artist Jonny4higher to create a live mural of the New York skyline while guests mingled. Cowboy hats were also given to attendees as a part of a Texas Tourism activation.

Brand USA MegaFam returns for 2023

The Brand USA MegaFam is making a return this year. In partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, 50 New Zealand and Australian travel agents will secure a spot on Brand USA’s MegaFam trip where they will be split into five groups with hosts, spending five nights exploring exciting itineraries in various US destinations.

For the final two nights, the entire group will come together for a grand finale in Hawaii for further sightseeing and a chance to share their MegaFam stories and experiences.

This year’s trip is themed Sports and The Great Outdoors, and agents’ itineraries will be designed to reflect the more adventurous side of  the USA.

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