The roadshow targeted markets in the US beyond the traditional West Coast. Eight New Zealand suppliers attended, led by the TNZ Los Angeles trade team. For a week, suppliers were able to train and interact with over 460 frontline travel sellers at 13 events including agency trainings, luncheons, and evening sessions. A consumer night for 50 wealthy consumers at Rolling Green Country Club in suburban Chicago was a valuable addition to the week. The New Zealand contingent has returned ecstatic about the week.
Julie Savill, Southern Discoveries Director of Sales and Marketing said: “This was a refreshing approach to educating agents in this market, and while their New Zealand knowledge was on the whole relatively low, we know this new activity reaches a group of sellers that suppliers have not accessed before."
Kerry Lahood, T.H.E. International Sales Manager said that from a supplier’s perspective, the roadshow was a great opportunity to connect with several prominent US wholesalers who have extensive distribution networks with major consortia. “The timing of the event was beneficial, particularly with the strong growth in visitor numbers from the US over the last 18 months and the recent increased airline capacity and schedules between the US and New Zealand.”
The roadshow featured Air New Zealand and their new partnership with United Airlines while also showcasing American Airlines in a few specific markets where their frequent fliers are located.
Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Americas and Europe said: ““This year our strategy is to attract new visitors beyond the established west coast markets and, we wanted to offer operators the opportunity to get in front of different audiences in these new markets. All four locations are important ‘hub’ cities for our new airline partners. Philadelphia and Phoenix are both important American Airlines hub cities while New York and Chicago are important hubs for American and United Airlines.
“We put a lot of effort and time into selecting the right venues and developing a format that would maximize the opportunities for the New Zealand operators who were with us for the week. It is great to get such encouraging feedback from those who joined us and we are looking forward to hitting more cities with our next roadshow in September.”
The next three roadshows will take place in September, October, and November 2016 and each will visit different cities of the US and Canada.
The US is our third largest international arrival market – with holiday arrivals up 12.4 per cent for the year ending June 2016.