Tourism New Zealand, with support from Air New Zealand, brought the agents to New Zealand on a familiarisation trip as part of the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme.
The agents were split into ten groups that visited 22 regions in total.
“Travel agents remain the most preferred way to book a holiday in Australia so it’s important to ensure they are educated on New Zealand and all it has to offer,” says Sandra Etter, Tourism New Zealand’s Trade Development Manager, Australia.
“Familiarisation trips like this one are an effective way to showcase New Zealand’s tourism offering to agents so they can create memorable holiday itineraries for their clients.”
The familiarisations also support Tourism New Zealand’s work to encourage international visitors to incorporate the regions into their itineraries and showcase New Zealand’s offering in the shoulder season.
Nicole Borg from STA Travel was part of a group that explored the Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington regions and says she found the experience extremely valuable.
“Through this trip I have learnt about a part of New Zealand I previously knew nothing about. I was captivated by the hospitality and natural beauty of these regions and am excited to paint a picture of this for my clients and sell them similar journeys.”
The trip to New Zealand also included a training day with regional tourism organisations (RTO’s) from across the country at venues along Wellington’s waterfront and a farewell function at Te Papa Museum.
“Without the support of the RTO’s and operators involved this famil would not have been possible. It’s also great for them to meet the agents and make connections that may benefit their businesses in the future,” says Sandra.