Overseas travel agents sign up for driver training

Tourism New Zealand recognises that overseas holiday makers self-driving in New Zealand need all the support we can offer to ensure their safety and that of New Zealand drivers on our roads.  

Therefore, as part of a comprehensive approach to driver safety, Tourism New Zealand has released an international travel agent training module that focusses on helping agents understand driving conditions in New Zealand. 

This information will help agents communicate the differences driving in New Zealand involves and will help them match self-drive itineraries to visitors who have the driving experience to manage our conditions safely.

The module is the latest in a series of online training packages that help overseas travel agents to sell New Zealand with confidence. And the initiative is proving popular. A total of 649 agents have already completed the training and that number is set to rise when the module is translated into seven languages.

Driving Safely in New Zealand  is available to all travel agents selling New Zealand as a destination through the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme and will be actively promoted by Tourism New Zealand’s 12 international offices

The driving module has been developed in answer to growing concern in New Zealand about the safety of visiting drivers. It includes information from the New Zealand Transport Agency and the New Zealand Road Code. The training covers road rules, information about driving on the left, road conditions and speed restrictions.

Information in the module is presented in a number of ways using multi-choice quizzes and hypothetical situations with a heavy reliance on still imagery.  The module will be translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, French, Spanish and Bahasa Indonesian.

Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says: “We know that driving in New Zealand is often very different to where our visitors are from and that there are some unique conditions that people are unlikely to have encountered before. 

“The training module encourages visitors to consider these unique conditions when planning their trip, such as the fact that with narrow, winding roads in some parts of New Zealand, it can take longer to reach places than the distances suggest and people need to make sure they leave enough time.”

Meanwhile, there’s no driving required for visitors who sign up for Tourism New Zealand’s latest campaign in Australia, encouraging mature travellers to see New Zealand by coach.

The coach touring campaign promotes both the North and South Island and Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia Tony Saunders is excited about the campaign and the value it provides to New Zealand.

 “Coach Touring is an important offering that attracts high value visitors that stay longer and spend more. New Zealand has the most unique and spectacular scenery all in close proximity so one of the best ways to experience it is in the comfort of a coach. The 2015 Coach campaign brings a diverse range of activities and experiences to life while showcasing the accessibility of New Zealand’s gems to Australians” said Tony.  

The campaign runs until the end of August. For more information about Coach Touring in New Zealand visit www.newzealand.com