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Tourism New Zealand claims top honours at US awards

Tourism New Zealand has been named “Tourism Board of the Year 2015” and “Most Engaged Tourism Board globally”, by US luxury travel network Virtuoso.

The awards were voted on by Virtuoso’s community of luxury travel advisors, who selected the winners from the network’s 59 partner tourism boards from around the world.

Tourism New Zealand collected the prestigious prizes at the gala ceremony last night at the 27th Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas.

Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the win was unequalled validation of Tourism New Zealand’s luxury strategy and the work carried out under the organisation’s agreement with Virtuoso.

“Our partnership with Virtuoso has allowed us to focus on developing the network’s understanding and knowledge of New Zealand – resulting in NZ$100 million in inbound travel in 2014 alone.

“These awards reflect our efforts to train, educate and inspire Virtuoso’s travel advisors – enabling them to effectively sell New Zealand’s luxury offering to their clients and thus increase the number of high-value visitors to the country.

“It’s estimated that premium travellers spend on average upwards of $2,500 a day – about what an average visitor spends during their entire visit, providing great economic value to New Zealand as a whole.

Winning the award for "Most Engaged Tourism Board globally" was a true reflection of the work Tourism New Zealand was doing with Virtuoso beyond the Americas.

“This is fantastic recognition of the work we have been doing to support Virtuoso’s growth in new source markets in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

“As the network enrols new travel agency members in these regions, we are working alongside them to grow awareness of luxury New Zealand with the aim to bring more high value visitors to New Zealand from these key premium sector markets", said Kevin. 

This year Virtuoso Travel Week, a week-long luxury travel fair, has seen around 4,800 delegates from 90 countries in attendance.

Tourism New Zealand has attended meetings with 1,850 luxury travel advisors during the event. Fifteen partner delegates from New Zealand were represented at the show.


Contact: Faith Dennis, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
faith.dennis@tnz.govt.nz; Phone: +64 21 393 135


About Virtuoso:
Virtuoso is the industry's leading luxury travel network. This by-invitation-only organisation comprises over 370 agencies with more than 9,800 elite travel specialists in 30 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as more than 1,700 of the world's best travel providers and premier destinations. For more information, visit Virtuoso.com.

About Virtuoso Travel Week:
The 27th annual Virtuoso Travel week is being held in Las Vegas from 8-13 August 2015, with more than 4,800 attendees from 90 countries. With more than 380,000 one-to-one appointments, the event fosters relationships between the network's travel advisors and world-renowned travel companies.