If timing is everything, last night’s function to mark 15 years of operation by World Journeys was right on cue, say the company’s directors and management team.
‘We’re delighted that our 15th birthday coincides perfectly with the re-emergence of travel,’ says Chris Lyons, one of World Journeys’ founding directors.
Gaining a place as a mentee in the Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) programme and picking up a gig as a regular travel columnist in her local newspaper have helped keep Dunedin agent Alexandra Hannagan focused and busy during the demanding times of the Covid pandemic.
Now the owner of Hannagan and Greive Travel Associates, just off the Octagon, has a new challenge – working out how to manage her time and effectively service valuable clients as the whole industry battles with staff shortages.
First Travel Group has announced its first new YOU Travel store to open in three years.
YOU Travel Warkworth opened last week on the main street of the rapidly expanding town. The addition of YOU Travel Warkworth now sees First Travel Group’s number of locations from Taupo north increase to 35.
The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) combined Australia and New Zealand entity will be led by newly appointed managing director, Toni Ambler, who comes with a decade of tenure within TTC.
The new structure serves as a single source for sales, marketing and operations of the individual brands (Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Costsaver and Contiki).
Qatar Airways has appointed Christopher Paykel as the new country manager for New Zealand, with the position seeing him lead the airline’s operations across the country. Paykel replaces outgoing commercial manager, Bjorn Burton, who was with the company from 2017 to 2021.
The Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) has appointed Greg Hamilton as chief executive officer.
Hamilton brings to the organisation 35 years of experience in leadership positions across the travel, not-for profit, membership and political sectors, and comes to his new role having spent the past 11 years as general manager and general secretary of the National Party.
Petra Otte celebrated 30 years with House of Travel this month.
After first opening a shop in Duke’s Arcade Wellington in 1991, she’s been working with customers to help them see the world for three decades.
Kiwi travel agent Peter Manase of Manase Travel Studio has been awarded top stepper in Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL’s) second annual Walk for Wellness. He accumulated the highest total number of steps (1,122,286) and is now the new owner of an Apple Watch Series 7.
The collective walking distance of all participants was 139,435km – smashing the initial target of 100,000km by almost 40% and increasing by 70%, year on year.
Destination representation company and airline GSA, The Walshe Group, is celebrating 45 years in business this month. The commemoration is more poignant as travel restrictions start to ease across Australia and New Zealand.
The company was founded in 1976 by Rodney Walshe. Forty-five years later the company has more than 75 employees and a current client roster that includes Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Visit Flanders, Experience AlUla, Visit Okinawa, Delta Air Lines, South African Airways, Lufthansa Group, ANA and in the New Zealand market China Airlines, Etihad Airways and Tourism Ireland.
Island Hotels Group has appointed Heather Gordon to the new position of director of sales and marketing for its Cook Island properties Edgewater Resort & Spa and Club Raro.
Based in Auckland, Gordon will oversee the resorts’ sales and marketing activities including conference and incentive, special interest groups, wholesale and leisure.
Global Travel Network (GTN) is marking six years of operation today and reports that despite the tough conditions now the company is looking towards strong and bouyant business in the near future.
Rob Beecher and Allen Bell decided to start a travel group in 2015 that would be dedicated to looking after independent travel agents in New Zealand. With that objective in mind, GTN was set up in partnership with House of Travel.
House of Travel Dunedin City has been acquired by Antony (Tony) Boomer. The purchase of the outlet is a testament to the faith Boomer has in both the industry and House of Travel as a brand.
‘Travel has always been really important to Kiwis,’ says Boomer. ‘As confidence grows with vaccination rates, I have no doubt that trade will come roaring back, and when it does, people will be looking for experienced agents with in-depth knowledge of both destinations and travel systems to help them plan their journey – and who will be there if anything goes wrong.’
Global tourism industry visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist Stanley S. Tollman, founder and chairman of The Travel Corporation (TTC), the highly successful, family- owned, international travel group encompassing more than 40 award-winning brands
including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki Holidays, AAT Kings, Adventure World Travel, Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, and pioneer of the sustainable travel movement through the not-for-profit TreadRight Foundation, has died in the South of France following a battle with cancer. He was 91.
SHOWPONI, a new marketing, PR, media and event agency that has delivering Māori, Pasifika and Indigenous storytelling at its core, will be exploring various ways to work with the travel trade among other sectors, says founder Gordon Bayne.
‘We certainly envisage opportunities to support any of the brands or individual agents and brokers on specific projects. We will also be looking to curate our own events and these are likely to provide experiences for the trade to sell into and gain commission from.’
He sees potential to work with destination marketing organisations (DMOs) such as visitor and convention bureaux and regional tourist offices, plus a range of associations, and not for profits.
Jason Buckley is Flight Centre’s new general manager independent models.
Buckley has been a part of the travel industry for over 30 years. He has worked across retail, corporate and wholesale businesses and has experience in operations, marketing and product.
Most recently he has been the owner and operator of a number of Helloworld travel agencies and has served on the Franchise Relationship Committee, representing and supporting other business owners.
Covid has been a prime example of something that brings a community – in this case the travel industry – together in adversity.
Rotorua agent Joanna Corbett, owner of Galaxy World Travellers, says people have always been key to the success of the World Travellers group. The sharing and support of each other has only increased through these tough times.
On top of that there has also been a noticeable bonding between agents of different brands in the city.
Packing her Havelock North travel store with art has generated not only increased foot traffic and interest but also led to bookings for House of Travel’s Jenny Nilsson.
That’s only one of the innovative solutions employed to keep things ticking over at Jenny Nilsson House of Travel stores in Hawke’s Bay (the other is in Hastings).
Lisa Johansen, previously at GO Holidays, joined the MoaTrek this month as part of the supplier team.
She has 20 years of experience in the industry.
MoaTrek director, Miles Clark says supplier management is a crucial position with 27 different tours and more than 120 departures booked for the 2021-22 season alone.
The owners of World Travellers New Plymouth say that moving out of Fitzroy premises and going mobile soon after Covid hit last year was one of the ‘scariest but best’ decisions they have made.
Putting some of the money they have saved from exiting the shop into billboard marketing has also been a key to keeping the business running – with two big billboards in town not only maintaining a profile for existing clients but also bringing in new customers.
‘We’re still marketing, we didn’t want people to think we had gone out of business,’ says Nicola McLaren, who co-owns the business with Lisa Roebuck.
By Paul Davies, Partner, OneTeam Chartered Accountants
At OneTeam CA we are breathing a sigh of relief as we have just finished sending in most of our 31 March travel industry accounts to TAANZ Bonding for review.
As you can imagine the results were not great – most travel businesses had negative sales for the 2021 year. Most had a positive gross margin as they had received cancellation fees and credit support from the government.
Thinking outside the square, including co-organising a trans Tasman trip with another agent, is keeping business ticking over for Bev Ellice and her Helloworld Strandon office.
‘We’ve taken 11 trips away since February – including the Chatham Islands, Stewart Island, biking in the South Island, and an autumn colours in the East Coast trip.’
Next up is the ‘Flappers Ball’ with the Roger Fox Big Band at Tongariro, with 12 people booked.
xtravel Queenstown has welcomed Laura Todd of the Hokonui District in Southland to its team.
‘As xtravel continues to work on our repatriation charter flights between South America and the Antipodes we find ourselves in a position where we can offer mutually beneficial opportunities to reduce the drain of and retain experienced and renowned industry experts,’ company director and owner Niki Davies says. ‘Our sub brokers can enjoy a `soft’ return to the industry, assisting xtravel with bubble related business without the need to fully immerse themselves into the Covid circus that international travel has become.’
Being a tour operator that also sells travel has given Supreme Tours and Travel a distinct advantage through the tough Covid-19 times, says the company’s managing director Terri Small.
Though the past year has been tough for business, Small says the model she adopted when she started her own business in 1994 has continued to be robust.
‘We deal primarily with fully escorted tours for seniors. Normally this is worldwide – domestic, international and cruise – and we have an absolutely loyal clientele.
When the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020, YOUR Travel in Paraparaumu Beach was already looking at developing a domestic tour series.
The crisis pushed those plans forward by about 18 months and has provided the business with a lifeline.
‘A domestic New Zealand programme was already part of our long term strategy and because we were working on an outline, we were not starting from scratch,’ says managing director Tanya Roddam.
A boost in bookings from the Cook Islands bubble, some signs of revival around Australian events, and a steady pulse with domestic corporate travel is putting at least a partial smile on the face of a long-term
Chris Hammonds, managing director of Mondo Travel and Sporting Tours, says he sent out an EDM about the Cooks a few days ago and had 15 to 20 email enquiries back.
Proactive Nelson-based travel broker Kelly Bowater has welcomed the latest campaign from Tourism New Zealand, saying initiatives such as the It’s Recharge Season gives the trade a new take on domestic product.
‘I love anything that’s exciting and different, and this gives a chance to support operators who are engaging in the campaign.’
Bowater sent out a newsletter on Wednesday (the day the campaign was launched) highlighting the ‘recharge’message to clients.
Getting product back in front of agents, brokers and consumers continues to be a challenge for suppliers, particularly as the pandemic has forced companies to downsize and cut back on staffing numbers.
However a well-known ‘multi-rep’ in the New Zealand travel market says now is the right time to be looking at solutions for representation in the market.
Promoting specifically targeted domestic packages through local business partners is paying dividends for a travel agency on Auckland’s North Shore.
Chris Harrop, managing director of YOU Travel Mairangi Bay, says though it can be hard to inspire the market to do something different around New Zealand it has benefits that are likely to manifest in the future.
By Paul Davies, Partner, OneTeam Chartered Accountants Ltd
The good news is that consumers’ desire to travel is strong – something you probably already know from your own clients. Tony Alexander (ex BNZ economist) released the results of his recent survey in his report on Thursday 18 February.
By Steve Lee, NZ Travel Brokers
In some circles it’s being called the ‘Great Travel Depression’ and at the end of 2020 it was estimated that Covid would have cost 197 million jobs and cost US$5.5 trillion globally.
Like the rest of the world, we’re hurting, and we’re a long way off getting back to anywhere like normal. (I use that word loosely, as ‘normal’ is pretty much extinct in our industry.)
An often asked question in the travel industry is ‘what has been your favourite famil?’ For many in the travel industry during the 1980s and early 90s the answer was likely to be ‘a trip to Hong Kong and Macau with Barb Shand.’
Barbara (Barb) Shand (born 1924) passed away early January in Auckland but is still well remembered by many agents for her work alongside daughter Pip Ashford with the Hong Kong Tourist
Next year will be defined by one critical call to action for the agent community, says Gavin Tollman, chief executive of Trafalgar Tours.
‘Now, more than ever, the individual needs of the customer will be greater than we have seen in our lifetime, in particular the need to help them understand what they don’t understand, so they can once more enjoy travel experiences beyond their dreams,’ Tollman says in the 2020 version of his traditional Christmas blog.
Carl Amos is now general manager, Mi-pad Hotel Queenstown. He joins the hotel from Hospitality New Zealand where he was marketing, communications and events manager.
Prior to this, Amos was based in Wellington at Tourism Industry Aotearoa leading the partnerships area, the commercial component for the delivery of TIA’s annual key tourism events. Before returning to New Zealand, Amos was based in Fiji and Samoa with roles at Six Senses Fiji, South Sea Cruises Fiji and Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Samoa. He began his tourism career with Air
House of Travel Browns Bay was planning to mark 30 years of business on 25 May this year. But symptomatic of the year the industry is having, the date fell in the middle of two Auckland lockdowns and the celebratons didn’t happen at the time.
That didn’t stop owner/operator Kelda Cawood inviting clients and business partners to the store for a celebratory ‘cake and cuppa’ with her team last week. Nor has it dented her commitment
Leisure Time Group has made two prominent appointments in its business events brands, Lime & Soda and Vokali.
Amanda Graham is business development manager – MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) and Amelia Lowe is an incentive and event manager.
Lime & Soda’s general manager, and former owner, Debra Dufty will be finishing in her role by the end of this year after assisting in the business transition following Leisure Time Group’s
Fiona Love, known by many in the trade for her nearly four years at The Travel Corporation, has been named trails marketing executive for three Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs).
The role has been established with the support of Enterprise Dunedin, Clutha Development and Tourism Central Otago alongside four cycle trail trusts and a local trail operators’ group. The collaborative marketing group aims to promote and enhance Central Otago and the wider Otago region as a premier trails destination.
Robyn Galloway, founder of wholesale travel company Innovative Travel, has written a children’s book – one which gives travel agents a slightly different opportunity when it comes to in-store promotions, as well as being a stand alone gift in its own right.
How Santa, Rudolph and Sedrick the Camel Saved Christmas, inspired by Sedrick the Camel, was illustrated by Lizzie Swaney-Hannah. Targeting five to 11 year olds, the book is described as
Catering for the needs of young professionals who are keen to travel in New Zealand and (as soon as they can) beyond has led to the establishment of a new ‘sub-brand’ for House of Travel Christchurch City.
Young Professionals Travel (Yo Pro Travel) started as an Instagram page and has evolved into a website targeting the sector.
A leading destination wedding specialist has no regrets that she found a non- travel related job early on in the Covid-19 crisis, but says she is ready to get back into the sector as soon as travel is possible again.
After 12 years with the company and the past nine years as chief executive officer of House of Travel New Zealand, Mark O’Donnell (MOD) has announced he will be standing down from his CEO role in December. MOD is relocating with his wife to the Hawke's Bay and taking up a CEO role with a local company.
Simon McKearney has finished up as executive general manager at Helloworld Travel. He left on 9 September, earlier than originally planned.
He says this is to enable him to fully move into a new work environment. Communicating with HLO franchise owners, associates and others by email, McKearney said he is making progress in his ‘desires to
re-imagine travel’ and shared this with HLO’s global CEO last week.
The board of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand says that due to the significant financial impact Covid-19 has had on the travel industry and the flow on to TAANZ it has made the difficult decision to restructure the association.
The outcome is that the role of the chief executive officer is no longer affordable and Andrew Olsen will be leaving in September. The board has highlighted Olsen's many years of service to the association and notes he has championed the TAANZ accreditation model and the elevation of staff qualifications and standards, brought to light the successful National Travel Industry Awards, implemented the ATA brand, been at the forefront of negotiations with IATA and more.
Air New Zealand’s chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace has resigned from the airline.
He will step away from Air New Zealand on 30 September and will provide consultancy support to CEO Greg Foran until the end of 2020. Wallace has been with Air New Zealand for 19 years and has held a variety of senior and executive roles.
Former Tourism Australia New Zealand manager, Jenny Aitken, will now represent the Sunshine Coast region.
Aitken spent 12 years at the helm of Tourism Australia in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Travel Brokers team has nominated supplier reps that have gone the extra mile over the past couple of challenging months.
James McAlloon, Chimu Adventures' relationship manager for Queensland will walk across Australia to raise money for people working in South America’s tourism industry hit hard by Covid-19.
In countries where government handouts are few and far between, earning a living for people, who normally make a living out of tourism, has been at all but at a standstill.
McAlloon’s responded to Chimu’s ‘shout out’ to its teams for ideas on how to raise money for the hardest hit.
Shannell Christmas has joined Global Travel Network (GTN) with her new retail shop in Whangarei – Travel and Cruise HQ. It's a return to GTN for Christmas who previously operated Small World Travel and Cruise.
‘I knew I wanted to have a large cruise specialist presence here, because I love cruise and feel it is something consumers look for,’ explains Christmas. ‘I created a brand, found a fantastic location and got myself set-up
Bjoern Spreitzer will lead the newly established team at Tourism New Zealand to restart domestic tourism. The team will ensure TNZ is set up to work in the domestic space and will be structured similar to offshore markets with PR, marketing and trade resource reporting to Spreitzer as general manager.
TNZ’s work in the domestic space will focus on demand stimulation at a national level. Research is currently underway to gather consumer insights to help shape an audience and channels strategy.
The original writer of Pearl’s Pearlers, a regular feature in TRAVELinc Memo / Travel Memo has passed away aged 99.
Pearl Cooper, a former travel agent, started writing her gems in the 1990s when the memos were sent out with brochures to travel agents from Brochure Rack. She continued writing the regular Pearlers when former Travel Memo owner Kevin Blackford started sending the Memo as a stand alone publication – on paper and then digitally.