The new agreement is something of a coup for us as it is the first time in many years that Maritz Travel has collaborated with an international destination in such as integrated programme of activity.
The agreement will see Maritz's agents throughout the United States actively pitching New Zealand to all their clients who are looking for an international incentive programme. Annually, Maritz Travel serves nearly three million travellers.
To launch the activity, 'Destination Day' was held October 16 with the objective to further establish and improve Maritz' agents awareness, perception and knowledge of New Zealand through interactive experiences.
Tourism New Zealand-led presentations, showing what a 'beyond the ordinary' incentive trip to New Zealand would look like, were done within a themed Air New Zealand 747 conference room complete with hostesses to show you to your seats and hot towels 'on arrival'. Presentations went live across the US so all Maritz agents were able to be part of the event.
A photo booth displaying different New Zealand scenes helped Maritz staff 'picture' themselves in New Zealand while also showing the variety of experiences an incentive programme could offer. Waipara winery, Greystone, skyped in from New Zealand providing a virtual tour of New Zealand's wine growing regions followed by a wine tasting session allowing Maritz staff to get a taste of what New Zealand is so well known for.
Feedback provided from key Maritz contacts tells us that New Zealand is a destination of choice for the coming year with solid leads already under development with key Maritz clients.
Tourism New Zealand's work with Maritz Travel in the US builds on our work to increase New Zealand's share of the international business events market. Complementing this work is our presence at trade shows including IMEX in Las Vegas, held earlier this month.
Nine suppliers including Tourism New Zealand sponsored the New Zealand stand this year. There were a large number of appointments booked, exceeding the 2011 show. We also received a good number of quality leads with a mixture of incentive and association conferences looking to pitch New Zealand.
Our CE Kevin Bowler attended the opening day of IMEX this year and concluded that the timing is perfect for New Zealand to be raising its profile in the US Business Events arena.
During his visit he said that it's clear that US companies are starting to actively seek international programmes again, as evidenced by both the number of buyers and international destinations on show in Las Vegas. He made comment that the commitment by Maritz and the interest shown for New Zealand at IMEX are both very positive signs - and Tourism New Zealand with industry support will be working hard to convert these opportunities.
Tourism New Zealand is committed to the business events market with incentive and business travel offering considerable opportunity for New Zealand to grow visitor value by attracting more high value delegates to the country. With a full programme of initiatives already underway for 2012/13 including trade show attendance, end user educational famils, promotional work and client events the expectations of New Zealand capturing a share of this business are extremely positive.
- Read more about TNZ's work with Business Events.