Meier’s Weltreisen is one of the largest tour operators in Germany and one of Tourism New Zealand’s most important wholesale partners in market. The company organises famils worldwide but they say their first venture to New Zealand last month rated as one of their best.
Singapore Airlines was the main airline sponsor and helped Meier’s Weltreisen to bring the agents to New Zealand. The agents were then split up into five groups. Two groups travelled around New Zealand and the other three went to New Caledonia, Tonga and the Cook Islands, all popular stop-over destinations for German tourists in New Zealand. The agents that travelled on the two New Zealand itineraries were hosted by Meier’s Weltreisen’s inbound tour operator for group tours, Terra Nova Coach Tours, and have since qualified as 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists.
Feedback from all the parties involved confirms the outstanding success of the visit which started in Auckland and ended with a three-day event in Rotorua, providing a platform for the agents to improve their New Zealand knowledge. Tourism New Zealand received plenty of positive feedback from agents such as this remark: “It was fantastic getting to know the destination New Zealand first hand and it will definitely be easier for me to sell this destination from now on. I am still raving about this famil and the fascinating country to every customer.” Another agent commented:“You only really learn about and get to know a destination through famils like this. Even though our time in the country was very limited, we were given maximum information. Given the investment and efforts of your team, you have achieved something BIG. Thanks a million.”
Joachim Voss, Meier’s Weltreisen’s Product Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific said the visit was of huge benefit to the company’s agents. He said: “We felt very privileged to have been invited to see some of the highlights of New Zealand and it will remain in our mind as a truly amazing journey ’Down under’. Together with the very interesting itinerary - the combination of nature, culture and activities, the best selection of suppliers and the many other things that were included contributed to the enjoyment of our famil. The experience of the wonderful functions now allows our sales staff to create new itineraries and exciting fresh product offerings for clients of Meier’s Weltreisen.”
The three days of events in Rotorua were hosted by Destination Rotorua and showcased the best the city can offer. Patrick Dault, Destination Rotorua’s Trade Marketing Manager was equally enthusiastic about the German famil. He said: “The event was a great success. The agents loved all the activities we had planned for them which included a traditional powhiri at Te Puia, workshop training with key New Zealand partners based at Skyline Rotorua, an evening tour of the Hobbiton movie set and five activity itineraries for agents to choose from comprising over 20 of our local activities and attractions. Every single agent who attended has gone back with an extensive knowledge of what is on offer in Rotorua.”
One of the New Zealand activities featured during the famil was a visit to Te Puia which gave the visitors a cultural appreciation of New Zealand. Kiri Atkinson-Crean, General Manager Sales and Marketing at Te Puia said: “Go Ozeanien 2015 provided an important opportunity to showcase Te Puia, our people and the unique combination of culture and tourism products that we have to offer to top performing and influential clients from a market that is very important to us.”
Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager, Americas and Europe said: “Sponsoring a famil of this calibre provides Tourism New Zealand with a resource-effective way to showcase the country to high-profile frontline travel agents and is also a good opportunity to engage agents that don’t sell New Zealand on a very regular basis yet but who are attached to a valuable wholesale partner of ours, like Meier’s Weltreisen.”
Germany is our second-largest visitor market in Europe and one that presents significant opportunities for New Zealand tourism. The latest visitor arrivals for the four weeks ending 28 June end show a significant 21.3 per cent increase compared to the same four week period last year.
A video commemorating the event has been produced and distributed to all agents who attended.