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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 4:38 AM 

Tourism New Zealand says Kia Ora to Canada

Tourism New Zealand says Kia Ora to Canada
From left: Lisa Bond, manager - marketing, Whale Watch Kaikoura; Gert Taljaard, chief executive, Polynesian Spa; Glenn Ormsby, general manager, Destination Kaikoura; Sandi Reily, sales executive - North America, Time Unlimited Tours; David Hurst, international sales manager, Ngai Tahu Tourism; Tracee Neilson, international trade and media liaison, Nelson Regional Development Agency Limited; Sean Marsh, market manager, Te Puia; Katherine Mitchell, base manager, Heli Tours; Ross Grundy, general manager of sales, InterCity Group (Great Sights/Gray Line); Lisa Ashford, international trade manager, Interislander & KiwiRail Scenic Journeys.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Eleven representatives from across the spectrum of New Zealand’s travel industry were in the spotlight yesterday, during a lunch event hosted by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand.

The representatives, who were also present at a travel agent reception later that evening hosted by Goway, are currently part of a multi-city tour which will focus on Eastern North America in a bid to increase arrivals, said Renata West, trade development executive for Tourism New Zealand.

Phillip Crawley, Honourary Consul, New Zealand Consulate, told attendees that international arrivals were up 17 per cent in 2015, contributing to a $1.7B increase in total visitor spend. Crawley said that while China and the U.S. account for the majority of arrivals, approximately 56,000 Canadians travelled to New Zealand, adding that Canadian visitors tend to be more adventurous and explore the country’s many off-the-beaten-path attractions.

“If you only go to Auckland or Wellington, you’re missing out on the true diversity of New Zealand,” Crawley said. “Take the time to explore – don’t just take a few days.”

The country’s reputation as a filming destination for major Hollywood movies – most often associated with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films – continues to be a key component in the destination’s marketing strategy, as evidenced by the inclusion of the recent Disney film Pete’s Dragon, as well as a promotional video starring Avatar director James Cameron, in Tourism New Zealand’s current marketing campaign.

West added that for travel agents selling New Zealand, the top draws clients are looking for include the country’s diverse landscapes; culture; food and wine; wildlife; sports including golf and fishing; and spas.

Renata West, trade development executive for Tourism New Zealand

The following is a brief overview of each of the partners’ respective products detailed during the presentation:

Air New Zealand: In addition to a recently-launched flight from Houston, the airline’s Economy SkyCouch service has drawn lots of positive feedback from travellers; the product allows flyers to lay down on a mattress laid across a row of connected Economy seats, with 18 ‘SkyCouches’ available on ANZ’s Vancouver flight.

Whale Watch Kaikoura: Located in the town of Kaikoura on the northeast coast of the South Island, Whale Watch Kaikoura gives guests the chance to see up to five species of whale along with dolphins and seals, boasting a 95 per cent success rate for whale sightings on each sailing. An 80 per cent refund is offered to guests on sailings where one of the animals doesn’t appear.

Polynesian Spa: Constructed on two natural springs (one alkaline, one acidic) each boasting different healing properties, this spa in Rotorua features sections for families and adults with a wide range of pools and spa amenities throughout the property.

Christchurch & Canterbury: With New Zealand’s tallest peak – Mt. Cook – within its boundaries, the Canterbury region’s mountains lend themselves to a number of travel draws for the more adventurous set, including gondolas, ziplines and the TranzAlpine train.

Time Unlimited Tours: Nine guides and a fleet of seven Mercedes touring vans offer tours of various sites, offering pick-up from cruise ship terminals and options for private tours.

Ngai Tahu Tourism: A charitable trust featuring a partnership of 10 attractions and experiences across New Zealand, Ngai Tahu offers such experiences as jetboats, a Dart River expedition and guided walks of the Holly Ford Valley.

Nelson Regional Development Agency Limited: Spanning the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island, the regions’ claim to fame include being the sunniest part of New Zealand as well as producing 70 per cent of the country’s wine, most notably sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.

Te Puia: A not-for-profit cultural organization based in Rotorua, Te Puia offers visitors immersive experiences in traditional Maori customs including woodcarving and flax weaving as well as traditional ‘steam box’ meals cooked in natural geothermal vents on the property.

Heli Tours: Guests can explore mountaintops and glaciers by air, as well as unique experiences including mountain picnics and access to fly fishing grounds high on the slopes.

Great Sights/Gray Line: Recently joining forces in New Zealand, these coach tour operators bring guests to a number of iconic sites and vistas, offering two departures for a popular tour of the ‘Hobbiton’ movie set from The Lord of the Rings film series.

Interislander and KiwiRail Scenic Journeys: KiwiRail features a variety of itineraries, including daytrips as well as the 10-hour journey from Auckland to Wellington. Boasting a fleet of three ferries, Interislander brings guests on tours of Wellington Harbour and the Marlborough Sounds, including wildlife sightseeing and an option for a ‘Premium Plus’ luxury class experience.

Agents can visit for detailed destination information, the New Zealand Specialist program, FAM opportunities and more.