Agents taken off the beaten track in UK and Europe

More than 400 travel agents across the United Kingdom and Europe were educated on New Zealand’s regions during Tourism New Zealand’s latest training roadshow.

Themed Aotearoa on the Road, the roadshow visited Newcastle, Birmingham, London, Zurich, Munich and Frankfurt. Eight of New Zealand’s nine international marketing alliances took part in the roadshow, along with 10 product suppliers, including Air New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for UK and Europe, Pip Casey says, “September marks the start of the heavy travel selling season in these markets so it’s important to ensure agents are well equipped with the latest New Zealand content, in order to maximise travel bookings.”

“This roadshow also supported our strategy to get more tourists out into New Zealand’s regions to experience what they have to offer.”

Sian Potter, a Long Haul and Cruise Product Manager from Hays Travel who attended the Newcastle event says she found it invaluable and would highly recommend similar events to others in the industry.

“I thought the layout of the event worked really well. Having the opportunity to approach specific suppliers and network with them to find out more about their product was great. I also found the presentations on different New Zealand regions extremely useful as I learnt about some of the lesser-known areas.

“I now feel more confident designing New Zealand itineraries for my clients.”

In the year ending July 2017 a total of 350,912 people from the UK and Germany visited New Zealand, with 190,528 of them coming for a holiday.

Individually, these markets witnessed promising growth in the past year with holiday arrivals from the UK increasing by 23% and from Germany by 14.1%.

“The strong arrivals growth from this region is something we want to see continue, as Europeans are the highest value visitors to New Zealand.  They spend the most money, and visit the most regions,” says Pip.

“New data shows that most visitors from the UK (79%) and Germany (82%) still book their trips through traditional travel agents as opposed to online – somewhat surprising given the digital age we’re in.

“But we know it’s because New Zealand is a long-haul destination for these travellers and often a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so they want to get it right. This is why roadshows and other frontline training events are vital in these markets, because they have a real impact on conversion to bookings.”

*From 1 July 2006 the regional tourism organisations across New Zealand have worked collaboratively as nine international marketing alliances for all Tourism New Zealand led international trade training initiatives (except Australia where it is optional). The framework was developed by RTOs and Tourism New Zealand to provide a coordinated approach to international trade training activity.