Marketing agreement to increase incentive travel from US

Tourism New Zealand has signed a marketing agreement with Maritz Travel, America's largest incentive travel management company, which will grow incentive and corporate travel to New Zealand from the United States.

Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Western Long Haul Markets Gregg Anderson says the agreement is a great result which comes from Tourism New Zealand targeting the United States incentive market in the past year.

Incentive travel is a global management tool used by companies to motivate and recognise staff for outstanding performance by offering special travel experiences.

50 years of experience in the industry, Maritz Travel's impact represents a total volume spend of approximately $2 billion (USD) per year, serving nearly three million travellers annually.

The new agreement is something of a coup for Tourism New Zealand as it is the first time in many years that Maritz Travel has collaborated with an international destination in such an integrated programme of activity.

Gregg says that the agreement is a fantastic opportunity to work with the Unites States' top incentive buyers to elevate the profile of New Zealand.

"A collaborative approach to marketing underpins Tourism New Zealand's strategy and this agreement guarantees New Zealand is being pitched to a high value visitor market. 

"It will see Maritz's agents throughout the United States actively pitching New Zealand to all their clients who are looking for an international incentive programme.

With over 50 years of experience in the industry, Maritz Travel's impact represents a total volume spend of approximately $2 billion (USD) per year, serving nearly three million travellers annually.

David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel says that participants tell us they want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and New Zealand certainly delivers on this.

"It continues to be an up-and-coming international destination that provides a truly exceptional experience for programme participants. Organisations better achieve business and programme objectives when they strive to align their programmes with what motivates their participants. According to our study, employees, channel partners and customers consider New Zealand a highly-motivating destination."

Activity is being launched mid-October with 'Destination Day' whereby Maritz Travel staff will be up-skilled on New Zealand  through educational and promotional experiences, with the objective to further establish and improve staff awareness, perception and knowledge of New Zealand.

Experiences include presentations on New Zealand within a themed Air New Zealand 747 conference room. A photo booth allowing staff to take home photos of themselves amongst different New Zealand settings is also planned as is a virtual New Zealand wine tour with a New Zealand wine maker done via Skype, and a wine tasting session. 

Air New Zealand and destination management company IDNZ are also key partners in the agreement.

We are delighted with the collaboration between Tourism New Zealand and Maritz Travel and expect it to generate some really compelling activity in the North American market says Antony Price, Director of Sales and Market Development, The America's for Air New Zealand.

Celeste Jones, IDNZ's Director of Incentives says to now be centre-stage with long-term customer Maritz Travel and their high yield incentive clientele is a huge result for all the partners and New Zealand as a destination.

The agreement runs through until 30 June 2013 and complements Tourism New Zealand's presence at trade events such as this month's IMEX in Las Vegas, an incentive travel, meetings and events tradeshow attended by some of the world's top-spending meeting, incentives and association buyers.

Incentive travel offers considerable opportunity for New Zealand to grow visitor value by attracting more high value delegates to the country.

Working to increase New Zealand's share of the international business events market, Tourism New Zealand's 'Beyond Convention' campaign is being used internationally to market New Zealand as both a conference and convention host, and also to promote the country as an incentive and events destination.

Issued by Emma Carter, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand; +64 21 243 0386