Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager UK & Europe, Danielle Genty-Nott, says 35 agents from the UK and Europe experienced four different itineraries throughout New Zealand, alongside 19 agents from Japan, Australia and USA and two of STA Travel's Global product team based in London.
"This was the largest consolidated representation of STA travel agents from the United Kingdom and Europe hosted on a famil to date. The feedback we received from the agents was outstanding."
John Constable, Chief Executive Officer of STA Travel Group says as part of our ongoing commitment and partnership to developing youth tourism to New Zealand, we are delighted to have had 54 of our travel experts from around the world embark on an amazing trip to experience what makes New Zealand unique to youth travellers.
"Familiarisation trips are all part of what makes our travel experts at STA Travel able to match the right travel arrangements to the customer's needs".
During October, Tourism New Zealand co-hosted with other industry partners, a roadshow in Ireland visiting Belfast, Dublin and Cork, training between 30-50 agents every night.
Danielle says further trade training sessions were held for cruise and coach specialists, followed by training for call centre staff from a large UK travel agency.
"Coach and cruise tours are beginning to pick up in the United Kingdom, which is promising. In October we helped 80 cruise specialists from Carnival UK Group, including their Shore Excursions team, with product development for New Zealand port day trips, plus pre or post cruise holidays.
"We also trained 60 sales staff from Titan Travel, a leading specialist in escorted touring holidays, who are doing very well selling New Zealand coach tours at the moment.
"We then held training sessions with call centre staff from The Lotus Group's DialAFlight - a travel agency with access to over 300 travel agents through its London, Croydon and Kent stores. The aim of the training was to ensure that all agents and managers were confident selling New Zealand in the lead up to our joint venture activity, which is currently in-market."
Two webinar training sessions for United Kingdom and European agents were also run in October and November: 'an introduction to New Zealand' and 'the New Zealand toolbox for travel sellers'.
Tourism New Zealand also attended the 2014 Travel Counsellors Conference held in Manchester in November. The conference provided a unique opportunity to network with over 1200 home-based travel agents.
The 2014 trade year will wrap up with special screenings of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, which are being held for travel agents in London and Manchester in December, jointly hosted by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. There will also be an additional pre-screening jointly hosted with NZ Inc agency partners to which product managers have been invited.
Read more about our marketing activity in the UK.