Industry News

TIME scholarships open for 2024

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 21:47

Scholarships are open for those working in the New Zealand travel industry who want to start 2024 by accelerating their career through the Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) mentoring programme.

Hoteliers urged to turn TAAP on

Wednesday, 11 October 2023 01:56

Hoteliers should think of Expedia as a full distribution platform through which to access various channels, Stu Udy, director retail distribution at Expedia TAAP told attendees at the group’s partner event in Park Hyatt Auckland.

New ownership for Tour Time

Friday, 06 October 2023 03:16

Inspiresport Group has acquired the Tour Time Group. This includes Tour Time New Zealand Ltd, Tour Time Australia Pty Ltd, Tour Time USA LLC, and Rugby Tours International Ltd (NZ, AUS, USA and Argentina).

Leckey takes Australasia role

Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:57

The House of Travel Group has launched a new group-wide cruise strategy to ensure it is well-resourced to capitalise on the sector’s immense potential for expansion.

New talent, survivors honoured

Tuesday, 05 September 2023 03:18

The introduction of new talent into the industry is one of the bright spots for the future identified by Chris Hunter, general manager New Zealand with Helloworld Travel.

NCL: Walk for Wellness 2023

Friday, 01 September 2023 05:31

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is inviting the entire New Zealand and Australia travel industry to step up for NCL’s fourth annual Walk for Wellness.

This year, the cruise line is bringing the industry together as a show of strength and support, and to be part of NCL’s official world record attempt for the longest distance achieved by a team of travel professionals in one month.

Set long-term goals for clients and be curious, speaker advises agents

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 23:21

A number of current consumer and lifestyle trends are working to the advantage of the travel trade, leading Australian keynote speaker Amanda Stevens told the recent Flight Centre Travel Group NZ Independent Agents Conference recently.

Discounts, definite departures, digital brochure boost and more for AAT Kings 2024-25 season

Thursday, 24 August 2023 23:25

Confirmation of definite departures, enhancements to its digital brochure and a new itinerary combining popular sights with a focus in Aboriginal culture were among developments emphasised by AAT Kings CEO Ben Hall this week.

AI plus personal touch a winning formula for trade, independent agents hear

Tuesday, 22 August 2023 21:35

Agents can embrace ChatGTB and other AI developments to their advantage while still providing the personal touch and human interaction that clients value, delegates at the FCTG New Zealand Independent Conference heard late last week.

James Kavanagh, Flight Centre’s CEO leisure, says agents should not be afraid of the technology and should take heed of former predictions of doom.

Earn a spot on Canada famil

Friday, 04 August 2023 00:36

travel&co. and Air New Zealand have launched an incentive that will see eight Kiwi travel agents jetting off to Canada in March 2024. No ski or board experience is needed as there will be plenty of time for lessons and après ski and exploring Vancouver.

Hangar 96 and more on QF famil

Wednesday, 19 July 2023 23:34

Qantas recently took nine agents from New Zealand to its headquarters in Sydney to the Best of North America Day.

The airline hosted a total of around 200 agents from across Australia and New Zealand on a day where they were fully immersed in all things Qantas and North America.

TAAP trade website progressing

Friday, 07 July 2023 20:17

Expedia TAAP is continuing to develop its new trade-focused website and agents can expect to see the gradual migration to the new platform over the next quarter.

SeaLink reconnects, new sales manager for NZ trade

Friday, 07 July 2023 03:23

SeaLink introduced its new ‘go-to’ person to New Zealand trade last week at a time when Kiwi visitor numbers are increasing again for the Australian company.

Tina Chaisuwan-Baker is now global sales coordinator and sales manager NZ, based in Sydney. She was one of the hosts, along with GM global sales and distribution Richard Doyle, at  an intimate function for agents, media and other industry partners at the Adina Hotel in Auckland on Wednesday.

Intrepid adds hundreds of departures

Tuesday, 27 June 2023 05:13

Intrepid Travel has launched more than 300 new trip departures in its top-demand travel destinations around the world.

By integrating Intrepid’s 26 on-the-ground Destination Management Companies (DMCs) the tour operator has further developed its scope of operations in booming locations including Japan, Italy and Morocco.

Agents more confident selling groups

Wednesday, 21 June 2023 23:48

Exotic Holidays is seeing increased demand for group tours, both from school and leisure markets, says managing director Rahul Sharma.

‘These are all coming through the trade,’ he says. ‘Agents are becoming more confident in organising and selling group tours.’

Ransomware a ‘major threat’

Tuesday, 18 April 2023 00:37

The travel and tourism sector internationally has become a prime focus for cyberattacks in recent times, resulting in ransomware incidents arising from data breaches, according to analytics company GlobalData.

Cybersecurity concerns within the industry saw a 4% year-on-year (YoY) rise in 2022.

HLO launches academy

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 00:35

Helloworld New Zealand has launched the Helloworld Travel Academy,  designed to provide training and development opportunities to Helloworld member networks. The aim is to attract, train and retain employees in the travel industry.

TIME scholarships x3

Sunday, 05 March 2023 19:48

New TIME NZ sponsors Silversea Cruises and Mint Payments, along with loyal sponsor Expedia TAAP have announced the recipients of their mentee scholarships, starting 8 March.

Angela Webber from House of Travel will be sponsored by Silversea Cruises, Danielle Mueth from First Light Travel by Mint, and Zaheda Davies, NZ Travel Brokers by Expedia TAAP.

Reg open for Ireland events

Wednesday, 01 February 2023 04:16

Registrations are open now for Tourism Ireland’s B2B roadshow visiting Auckland on Monday 20 February at SkyCity Grand Hotel. This will include an evening event for travel agents with presentations and networking opportunities.

Suppliers attending from Ireland include EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum; Griffin Hotel Group; Hastings Hotels; Killeavy Castle Estate; MCT Irish Tours; Original Irish Hotels; Park Hotel Kenmare; Powerscourt Distillery; Titanic Belfast and Visit Derry.  Register HERE.

WA roadshow in March '23

Wednesday, 01 February 2023 03:46

The Dream Western Australia Roadshow will visit Auckland on Thursday 30 March at the Tote on Ascot, Ellerslie Event Centre with free parking.

The trade event will include an evening function for travel agents with key WA tourism operators presenting their holiday ideas, itinerary suggestions and cruise options for Western Australia.

Tuscany supplier headed to NZ

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 21:00

Massimo Lenzi and Jon Hunter from Trovare Tuscany will be in New Zealand from 28 February until 10 March, travelling from Wellington to Auckland meeting with travel agents. 

An evening promotion is planned in Cambridge for Thursday 9 March, for agents and their clients.

Global spread of operators set to highlight options for high end travel at NZ event

Monday, 23 January 2023 20:15

Travel agents will be able to update themselves on high end leisure and events possibilities with a range of suppliers from around the world at a morning / early afternoon event in Auckland on Monday, 27 February.

DMS Destination Marketing Services is bringing DMS Connect back to this market after a forced break during the Covid lockdowns.

Huge demand for 2023 events

Wednesday, 12 October 2022 00:31

A niche wholesaler dealing in the events sector is expecting ‘phenomenal demand’ for sporting and cultural occasions next year – both far afield and close to home.

Just as pent up demand has seen Kiwis booking ‘once-in a-lifetime’ destinations such as Galapagos, the Poles and Alaska, they are also registering interest for high profile motorsports, tennis, golf and US sporting events such as basketball, baseball, NFL (American Football), and ice hockey, says Jay Soysa, AIM Holidays’ product/reservations manager.

More features for Expedia-TAAP

Tuesday, 11 October 2022 23:34

Expedia Group has a number of new features available to members of the Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) including an improved accommodation quote process and the recently revealed extension of Expedia’s Live Agent Chat to agents.

‘As part of our commitment to help travel agents deliver for the travellers they serve, Expedia Group is further innovating our TAAP solutions to put the most useful tools at their disposal,’ saysTAAP retail distribution director ANZ Stuart Udy.

Still a need to charge more

Sunday, 02 October 2022 22:44

Though travel businesses are moving more towards a fee-based model, in most cases they should still be charging more, says an accountant who specialises in the sector.

Paul Davies, partner with OneTeam Chartered Accountants, says that many agencies are currently earning significant profits – as much in five or six months as they would have in a year pre-Covid. However that is on the back of the principals and their reduced teams working extremely hard and putting in longer hours than are sustainable.

GFOB’s Europe launch events – that’s a wrap

Sunday, 02 October 2022 22:04

The Globus family of brands has just wrapped up a two week multi-city programme of Europe launch events around New Zealand, emphasising new products in its range as well as reminding agents of more familiar options.

Alka Thapar, national sales manager NZ, says the turnout and interest from agents and brokers around the country has been appreciated at a time when everyone is extremely busy.

Depleted distribution workforce concern for cruise

Friday, 02 September 2022 00:00

Workforce issues across a number of areas, including in the travel agency community, are the biggest challenges facing the cruise sector right now, according to panellists at the Cruise 360 conference in Sydney.

Steve Odell, senior vice-president and managing director, Asia Pacific of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, says some of his biggest concerns are around the distribution channel.

Opportunities are there - working harder now a fact of life, cruise agents hear

Thursday, 01 September 2022 23:53

Travel advisors should not be afraid to throw crazy ideas at their past clients and give them a nudge to travel again of they are hesitant, delegates at the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA’s) Cruise 360 conference in Sydney recently were told.

Disruption stress relieved

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 21:04

Flight Centre NZ is releasing a Captain’s Package to help Kiwis avoid travel chaos and have a trouble-free holiday.

Managing director, David Coombes says the travel rebound since borders reopened has been overwhelming. 

Be firm with Ts and Cs

Monday, 22 August 2022 23:36

Inbound operators at the Tourism Export Council (TECNZ) Conference have been advised to make sure their terms and conditions are ‘rock solid’ and then be prepared to be firm when clients request a refund they are not entitled to.

Wendy van Lieshout, of Active Adventures and Austin Adventures, says the biggest challenge right now is fickle customers. ‘They are all over the place, there’s no pattern.’

NZ adventure operator: Trade bonds through Covid set to give lasting benefits

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 21:59

A New Zealand adventure operator says a key part of his company’s evolution over the past two years was gaining new relationships with agents here – something he is intent on retaining and nurturing despite the borders opening to international visitors.

Kiwis look to hit the road

Monday, 15 August 2022 21:54

Travel agents have been quick to embrace an international touring option newly available in the New Zealand market, says Tui Davenport, reservations and sales manager for Worldwide Caravan & Motorhome Holidays.

‘Agents are contacting us and saying they have had enquiries for motorhome holidays in Europe or other destinations in the past but they didn’t know where to go to access this so they have steered them towards a self-drive (car) holiday instead,’ says Davenport.

Investment in rental car supply

Monday, 15 August 2022 20:33

A multi-million dollar investment in New Zealand’s international tourism infrastructure is expected to ease a critical shortage of rental vehicles.

Jucy, one of the country’s largest vehicle rental operators, will invest $40 million dollars to expand its fleet of campervans and cars.

Club Med’s 2023 Sun Sale

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 22:10

Club Med has this week launched its Early Bird 2023 Sun Sale, offering up to 30% on its sun resorts for travel dates between 1 May and 16 December 2023.

Agents can log into the new Club Med Travel Agent Portal to secure the brand’s best price guarantee on its sun resorts across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Asia.

New brochure from Worldwide Caravan & Motorhome Holidays

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 04:21

Worldwide Caravan & Motorhome Holidays has released a new 84-page brochure featuring a comprehensive range of motorhome holidays throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

A subsidiary of UK-based Alan Rogers Travel Group and the Caravan & Motorhome Club, the specialist operator offers small group, locally guided motorhome tours in addition to independent and tailor-made itineraries for FIT travellers. It provides expert local knowledge and advice, as well as packages that can include everything from motorhome hire, pre-booked campsites and sightseeing to ferry crossings, Eurotunnel, transfers and pre and post accommodation.

Rail Online talks commission

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 03:35

Rail Online CEO James Dunne says the latest Eurail sales data indicates that less than a quarter of Eurail bookings are being made through a travel agent, pre-pandemic this figure was more like half.

‘Rail Online is offering 7% commission and with the average value of a Eurail Pass $500 per person we would like to see these high value bookings come through from the trade,’ Dunne adds.

Visa processing fee waived

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:48

A move that has added value to agents and also reduced hassle for both the trade and clients has been extended by Exotic Holidays due to a strong response.

Managing director Rahul Sharma, says Exotic, through sister company Visa Assist, has been waiving visa processing fees for India and Vietnam for a couple of weeks.

Urgency builds for 2023

Friday, 22 July 2022 04:06

Globus family of brands is back up to pre-Covid staffing levels in New Zealand and receiving solid bookings each day from the trade, says the company’s head of New Zealand, Brett Simon.

Though capacity constraints are still a challenge, Simon says GFOB is receiving interest and conversions across the board. He adds that premium products such as Royal Suites on Avalon Cruises and upgrades to Globus from consumers who may have typically travelled Cosmos being par for the course currently.

CLIA showcase returns

Friday, 01 July 2022 00:41

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has announced the return of its Cruise Port & Destination Virtual Showcase, giving travel agent members a chance to gain practical insight into top cruise destinations around the world.

The week-long webinar programme will run from July 19 to 26 with presentations from 12 CLIA Executive Partners, each providing information to ensure cruise clients get the most from their visits.

Sounds Air on Amadeus

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 03:43

Blenheim based carrier Sounds Air has signed with Amadeus to make its content available to travel sellers across the world through the Amadeus Travel Platform. Sounds Air is hosted by the Takeflite Solutions passenger service system and this development is a result of a new partnership between Amadeus and Takeflite that provides enhanced global distribution options to regional airlines. 

CHC's new arrival lounge

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 02:46

Christchurch Airport has unveiled a permanent and purpose-built welcome lounge in the terminal to support incentive and conference organisers wanting to theme, publicise and welcome their events and its participants.

‘Business events start in our city when people touch down,’ says the airport’s general manager trade development Scott Callaway.

Out of the Covid ashes: Wendy Wu’s expanded portfolio here to stay

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 01:19

A whole new portfolio, the largest expansion of product in Wendy Wu Tours’ history, is an enduring and positive result of the Covid pandemic, the company’s founder says,

‘Of course Covid was devastating for us and for the whole industry,’ says founder Wendy Wu. ‘However, out of the ashes of that we have expanded into places like Scotland, Portugal, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and central Asia. In the past we have always added a destination at a time.’

Avoid hiccups during rebound

Friday, 17 June 2022 03:57

Rental car specialist DriveAway says the strong and resurgence of bookings has highlighted both opportunities and challenges for trade and their clients after two years of closed borders.

Alison Hopkirk, NZ business development manager with DriveAway says that commissions on bookings tend to be higher than they were before the pandemic.

Outbound and inbound back but Viva set on keeping domestic in mix

Wednesday, 08 June 2022 23:47

Domestic travel with an eye to exceptional experiences for Kiwis will remain a focus for Viva Expeditions, even as its pre-pandemic business starts to gain momentum again, says founder Rachel Williams.

With offices here and in South America, Viva is back promoting two-way travel between the destinations. However, successful forays into the local market have shown Williams the worth of having domestic product with a difference on offer.

Travel club in good shape

Wednesday, 08 June 2022 04:07

New Zealand’s five Skal Clubs have come through the last two years holding membership and are now starting to see numbers increase, says Skal International New Zealand president Sally Attfield.

The fellowship orientated club for travel and tourism professionals held its national AGM and congress in Wellington over the weekend, which also marked the 65th  anniversary since the club started in the city.

The highlight of the event was a dinner at the Grand Hall in Parliament.

Expedia TAAP: New features

Tuesday, 07 June 2022 23:01

Features such as the new TAAP Quotation tool have proved a hit with New Zealand agents, says Expedia TAAP’s director travel agent distribution, Stuart Udy. This tool enables a TAAP agent to create a quote in seconds.

‘NZ agents have embraced the feature in just a few weeks and are among the top adopters worldwide,’ says Udy.

Club Med launches new loyalty programme

Tuesday, 07 June 2022 22:45

Club Med has launched a new loyalty programme for New Zealand travel industry partners.

It comes as the company also unveils its revamped Club Med Travel Agent Portal featuring a new booking service.

Stuba moves for NZ trade

Wednesday, 01 June 2022 21:05

Recognising and responding to the changing needs and challenges of travel trade partners remains the top priority for Stuba, says the accommodation wholesaler’s BDM New Zealand and Queensland, Lisa Linn.

‘We constantly receive feedback about how supportive Stuba has been over the last two years with processing refunds and handling credits,’ says Linn.

Intrepid's female leadership team

Wednesday, 01 June 2022 20:49

Intrepid Travel has announced key leadership changes to its Australia-New Zealand management team, representing Intrepid’s first all-female regional leadership team.

This includes Sarah Clark returning as ANZ managing director, and Yvette Thompson promoted to general manager - sales and partnerships to lead all partner relationships and commercial agreements.

Club Med's plans for NZ trade

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 03:48

A visit by key executives, the naming of a brand manager for this market and a revamped travel agent portal are all evidence of Club Med’s new emphasis and refreshed approach to the New Zealand trade.

Brendon King is now brand manager for New Zealand, having been in a BDM role with the New South Wales market in recent years, while Michelle Davies has been appointed general manager Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Both were in market this month along with Lisa Bacon, head of sales – trade and MICE.

Companies form School Travel Collective

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:30

Competing tour operators have banded together to restore confidence in school travel and mitigate financial risks to parents, students and schools for future tours.

The School Travel Collective Inc (STC) is addressing the two main questions asked by parents ask when contemplating sending their child on a school trip: Is my child going to be safe? Is my money going to be safe?

New platform launches for booking rail journeys

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:06

A new specialist operator created by local rail experts aims to make booking international train journeys easier for New Zealand travel agents.

The brainchild of Rail Europe’s former CEO for New Zealand and Australia, James Dunne, Rail Online offers a booking platform, created in partnership with global rail technology provider SilverRail, whose software currently facilitates more than 30 million online rail bookings each year.