This year marked the fifth year Tourism New Zealand has supported the industry attend ILTM Asia. This is an investment we continue to make because of the potential the premium sector presents to increase the value of visitors to New Zealand.
I had the pleasure of attending the event with my Tourism New Zealand colleagues alongside Air New Zealand, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd, SKYCITY, New Zealand Lodge Association together with Tree Tops, Eagles Nest & Bay of Many Coves, Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers, Matakauri Lodge, The Huka Retreats, Over the Top, Seasonz Travel Ltd and Magnetic South.
Demand for high-end luxury travelling has been on the rise across Asia in recent years, thanks to the emergence of the newly rich especially in China.
As the sister event to the ILTM in Cannes, ILTM Asia provided the opportunity to educate some of the most influential luxury travel sellers and buyers from across the Asia Pacific region on the unique luxury tourism products New Zealand offers.
The event reinforced the genuinely refreshing approach New Zealand has for the premium market. With a product offering strongly linked to the landscape, the focus is on creating personal experiences with world-class accommodation, service and transport delivered in an intimate and engaging Kiwi manner.
The initial feedback I have received from delegates has been very positive, with many reporting good quality prospect business partners particularly from Japan, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In mainland China, delegates confirmed they were happy to take a longer term approach using the event to learn about the market, building their profile and developing strong relationships with the industry for future conversion.
However, our involvement with the trade at travel seller events such as ILTM is just one of the ways we are working to increase awareness of New Zealand's luxury product offering in our offshore markets.
We recently created a dedicated role to support the development of the premium product and I am delighted to announce the appointment of Anna Fennessy to the role of Product Development Manager. In this role, Anna will provide expert advice for the luxury, honeymoon and cruise sectors and help develop tools to influence trade and the way they sell New Zealand in these sectors.
Some of you may know Anna from her time with us last year when she provided cover for the Cruise Market Development Manager role and we are really excited to have her back within the team at TNZ.
In a column I wrote in April I mentioned some changes and development we had underway in the trade events space. You can now find 18 months of both confirmed and tentative events on our corporate website, tourismnewzealand.com, to increase visibility of events and help you make effective business decisions.
Also, in the last month we have added an online registration form to make the application process easier for you. This is also more effective to manage which will let us have more time to support your needs as we continue to develop our engagement with trade.
First published in Inside Tourism issue 885