Two trade training events in Thailand were run in partnership with Global Link, one of TNZ's key trade partners in-market, hosting 50 local travel agents in Hat Yai and Phuket. The sessions covered basic travel information about New Zealand as well as TNZ's Travel Trade website and Business Events offering with its 100% Pure New Zealand - Beyond Convention campaign activity.
The consumer-focused Singapore Airlines Travel Fair, held in Bangkok over 15-18 February, saw between 400-500 people per day, a significant jump in attendee numbers compared with last year.
Five New Zealand operators joined the TNZ booth the following week at the trade-focused Thai International Travel Fair 20 to 23 February in 2014: Ngai Tahu Tourism, Tourism West Coast, Pan Pacific, General Travel and Mitchell Corp. The fair, which has been running for 14 years, attracted around 250,000 visitors over its four day run.
TNZ then attended the NATAS (National Association Travel Agents Singapore) Consumer Travel Fair, joined by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT), from 28 February to 2 March 2014. This event also saw a significant jump in attendee numbers compared with the same event last year, with 54,275 visitors over its three day run, as well as increased holiday booking enquiries.
Next, TNZ were in Malaysia attending the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair, held 14 to 16 March. The 2014 fair recorded the highest number of visitors to date with 90,273 visitors attending the event, up from over 83,000 in 2013, indicating Malaysian travellers are feeling more confident about booking international holidays.
Further activity in early March saw 51 SSEA travel sellers tour the length of New Zealand over seven days, experiencing a raft of tourism activities first-hand as part of TNZ's first SSEA mega-famil and the final step to completing their 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist qualification.
TNZ's Regional Manager South and South East Asia, Mischa Mannix-Opie, says, "The South and South East Asia region's visitor market continues to grow at a good pace. Tourism New Zealand's focus on training travel agents, as well as our continued attendance at key travel fairs, plays a critical role in assisting continued growth - ensuring travel sellers in-market are knowledgeable about New Zealand and are able to effectively sell it as a holiday destination."
For the 12 months ending February 2014, total SSEA visitor arrivals were up in all markets ‒ Thailand was up by 22.9 per cent, Singapore by 16.6 per cent and Malaysia by 4.8 per cent, while TNZ's emerging markets of India and Indonesia were up by 5.2 per cent and 11.0 per cent respectively.
In January 2014, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand announced an alliance that will see seat capacity increased by as much as 30 per cent between the two countries. With its great connections from multiple Asian countries, including TNZ's emerging markets India and Indonesia, Singapore is a vital hub for visitors to New Zealand.
Malaysia Airlines will also commence a year-round daily service on 30 March on its Kuala Lumpur to Auckland route. Continuing a daily service beyond the traditional high-season will offer a significant boost for the industry and support TNZ's efforts to grow arrivals out of Malaysia.
Read more about our marketing activity in South and South East Asia.