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The importance of travel trade

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler's column - first published in Tourism Business April- May 2012 issue

A strategic priority of all Tourism New Zealand's work is the use of partnerships to maximise the reach and effectiveness of our campaign, training and famil programmes.

The strong relationships secured by our international trade programme are a critical component of ensuring these partnerships are in place and are vital to achieving the target increase in visitor value to New Zealand.

The offshore teams together with the Business Development team in New Zealand lead the engagement and education activity with travel sellers through three work streams to keep destination New Zealand top of mind.

Firstly, we help to get the product to the market through our trade events. These offer a conduit for New Zealand operators to educate the off-shore travel trade and build strong relationships . In turn, they also learn the individual market and segment needs and how they can better serve them.

Through March and April, operators from a broad mix of hotels, activities and regions are in-market presenting their products to over 180 trade agents and consumers at events including the Greater China Mission and South Asia Roadshow. To ensure these events are as successful as possible, our teams provide full support before and during the events, with in-market promotion to travel sellers and arranging appointments.

Secondly, we also facilitate getting the off-shore travel trade to the product with our famil programme, bringing offshore travel sellers to New Zealand to experience it firsthand. This lets Kiwi operators bring their product to life to secure an invested interest that the sellers can take home and market to potential travellers.

TRENZ 2012 sees this undertaken on an even larger scale than normal. With significant numbers of buyers attending from 30 countries, interest is already proving to be strong. Attendance from Japan and Korea presents opportunities to support changes in these markets to help address the challenges seen in 2011.

Thirdly, we ensure supporting material is readily available for off-shore travel trade and New Zealand operators alike. Our dedicated trade website provides tailored information, training modules and promotional tools. This site is currently undergoing a refresh to ensure it provides the best support it can. For New Zealand operators, our corporate site, tourismnewzealand.com, provides the latest market insights, statistics and recent campaign activity details.

All of this activity requires careful consideration and coordination. We look forward to working with you as we implement our activity here and offshore to continue to engage with trade to deliver more higher value visitors for your business and New Zealand.