Firstly to Asia: Our work in China has really raised New Zealand’s profile and the numbers say it all: 34.4 per cent arrivals growth for the year ending December 2015, and 35 per cent growth in spend per Chinese visitor to $5,100 for the year ending September 2015.
With this market progressing so well, and following initial discussion with operators who attended Kiwi Link China in October 2015, we have decided to hold off on Kiwi Link China until 2017. Instead we will increase the number of buyers invited to attend TRENZ, and continue to support in-market visits by New Zealand industry, as well as key events organised by Auckland Airport, Christchurch International Airport and Destination Queenstown.
We will also be changing things up in SEA. This year, instead of the Kiwi Link SEA, we will hold a similar style event in Indonesia which will include front line training in Manila and Bangkok.
Kiwi Link India, along with a front line training event in Singapore, is also in the calendar. India and Indonesia are two of our prioritised emerging markets, and our focus is on establishing a strong trade capability to help accelerate the development of quality visitor arrivals from these markets. We will be actively engaging with airport and airline partners to look for ways to increase the ease of travel to New Zealand from both countries.
Our remaining Asia and Australia events are delivering great value in their current format so no changes here. There are changes however for the Americas and European markets.
In 2015, we hosted five International Marketing Alliances (IMAs) for a week-long roadshow across Brazil and Argentina - a great way to introduce New Zealand to these new markets. In 2016, we will organise a Kiwi Link Brazil and Argentina event in September. Keep an eye out for the prospectus for these events in Tourism News.
Our activity in the US focuses on supporting the new air routes that commence later this year and the increased capacity these will deliver to New Zealand. Last year our Texas Sales Mission, held in support of Air New Zealand’s new route to Houston, saw us engage with the travel industry in cities where we have never had a presence before. This is critical to ensure the local travel industry has the tools and knowledge to be able sell New Zealand as a destination.
While last year’s event was a great success it also provided a number of learnings which have helped us improve the format. To help maximise engagement, this year we will organise four bespoke week-long roadshows, with each designed to showcase four important cities in the mid-west, north-east and south-east of the US. These will take smaller groups of 6-8 operators to enable us to be more nimble and access a greater range of events in market.
Looking to our Europe-focused events, we are committing to run these biennially a rotating pattern with our US based events. This means that following Kiwi Link Europe in April, this event will next be held in 2018.
We appreciate that attending our trade events is a significant part of your annual planning so please check our updated events calendar to see a full outline of all our events over the next 18 months. Don’t hesitate to contact Caroline Carruthers if you have any questions.
The trade are a critical part of our activity to increase the number of visitor arrivals to New Zealand. By engaging with them effectively we can be assured that we build the awareness of New Zealand as a destination in the right way and develop a well-educated and passionate travel trade.