Australian agents ride the trails to sell NZ cycling holidays

Australian travel specialists will get first-hand experience of some of New Zealand’s favourite cycle trails to help them promote cycling holidays in New Zealand.

A cycling famil planned for next month will see 10 Flight Centre frontline travel agents and product managers spending five days riding parts of the Alps2Ocean Cycle Trail and Otago Central Rail Trail.

The cycle trail experience is being organised by Tourism New Zealand with Adventure South NZ as part of an ongoing campaign, ‘Transport Yourself’, to get more Australians booking a cycling holiday in New Zealand.

Tony Saunders, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager, Australia said; “Helping the travel sellers to actually experience the rides for themselves is the best way we can improve their confidence so they can introduce, explain and sell New Zealand’s cycle trails to their customers.

“Promoting more cycling holidays in New Zealand helps to grow the value of tourism as visitors who travel for a cycling holiday tend to stay longer and spend more than the average visitor. Cycling is a great shoulder season activity and with trails all across the country, it is also helping drive regional dispersal of visitors.”

Tourism New Zealand’s focus on leisure cycling has resulted in participation increasing from 36,000-39,000 Australians in the past year. Tourism New Zealand Special Interest Manager, Tony Rogers says the latest promotion targets those people who are interested in cycling or active holidays that may not be part of the typical pool of people already considering a holiday in New Zealand.

“We are continuing to get the message across that New Zealand is not isolated or hard to get around and that visitors of average fitness can enjoy cycling the trails. They don’t have to be intrepid, advanced riders to enjoy a cycling holiday.”

The current campaign will run until the end of November across social and digital channels. Tourism New Zealand has also sent out a cycling special e-newsletter to more than 1000 agents in Australia and will be running a cycling webinar for industry.

Two Australian journalists have also been travelling in New Zealand, experiencing the cycle trails. As part of Tourism New Zealand’s International Media Programme, freelancer Michelle Hespe visited Hawke’s Bay and coverage about the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trails will appear in MiNDFOOD magazine over the coming months. Sheriden Rhodes cycled the Alps 2 Ocean, writing articles for Fairfax’s Traveller section and Qantas Travel Insider.

The latest cycling promotion focuses on four of the 22 great cycle trails in New Zealand with short videos of the Alps 2 Ocean, West Coast Wilderness and Hawke’s Bay Trails. The Otago Central Rail trail also features as part of the booking phase of the campaign.