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USA travel industry treated to warm New Zealand welcome

America’s largest network of travel agents enjoyed a warm Kiwi welcome last night to kick off their 18th Annual International Summit.  Travel Leaders Network selected New Zealand as the destination for its 2017 prestigious VIP event following Tourism New Zealand and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) bidding to host it.

This seasoned group of travel industry experts will spend three days in New Zealand experiencing a range of activities such as the Waitomo glow worm caves, Hobbiton and yachting in the Viaduct Harbour. The Travel Leaders delegation will also spend several days on either side of the event enjoying New Zealand experiences.

“New Zealand is fast becoming a bucket-list destination for our travel agents’ luxury clients and it is also very appealing to our active and adventure travellers. As a result, our Travel Leaders Network members are extremely excited to be able to take advantage of this immersive VIP experience in a world-class destination,” says Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network.

“By attending this year’s International Summit, our Travel Leaders Network members will enjoy very unique and exclusive VIP experiences so that they can enhance their knowledge on New Zealand. In turn, they will be able to provide truly informed counsel to their customers, particularly their luxury clientele,” adds Block. “We are very grateful for the partnership we have with Tourism New Zealand, ATEED and the many other suppliers who are helping to make this International Summit a very memorable experience.”

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Tourism New Zealand Chair Kerry prendergast, Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network, Tourism New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Brighid Kelly and Tourism New Zealand Development Executive Alana Pietrzak at the welcome event

Bjoern Spreitzer, Manager Americas and Europe, Tourism New Zealand, says, “The U.S. is a priority market for us. There are around 30 million people in the U.S. actively considering a holiday in New Zealand so it’s important that U.S. travel agents are familiar with and able to recommend New Zealand.”

“We work closely with Travel Leaders Network on a range of joint ventures and invest significant time training their agents on what New Zealand has on offer,” says Spreitzer.

“Great travel agents are key to our success. They are the people on the ground with the direct link to potential vacationers and can make the difference between someone choosing to come to New Zealand or somewhere else.”

Over the coming year, Tourism New Zealand will continue to develop the relationship with the group, including training more Travel Leaders agents to become New Zealand experts.

Last year alone, over 290,000 people from the U.S. visited New Zealand and this is expected to increase over the coming years.

“The U.S. market is showing significant growth thanks to increased air capacity and more direct flights, economic conditions and support from agencies like Travel Leaders Network,” Spreitzer adds.

Travel Leaders Network is Tourism New Zealand’s largest size account in North America. Its parent company, Travel Leaders Group represents over 30% of travel agencies in North America.