Strong relationships deliver tourism coup for New Zealand

A strong working relationship between Tourism New Zealand and Emirates has resulted in a tourism coup, with Emirates choosing to host their annual Australia market incentive in New Zealand for the first time ever.

Regional Tourism Organisation and partner in the deal, Hawkes Bay Tourism will host 28 of Emirates' top travel sellers and executive team from Australia this month, as part of the airline's annual "thank you" weekend.

Left to right: Emirates New Zealand Manager Chris Leithbridge, Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown and Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia Tim Burgess.

This is the first year the incentive has ever been hosted outside of Australia.

The group will be staying at the five-star luxury lodge The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and have the chance to experience some of the Hawkes' Bay's finest restaurants, wineries and activities.

The likes of Flight Centre founder and MD Graham Turner and Jetset Travelworld Group CEO Rob Gurney are among the influential group of travel sellers.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia Tim Burgess says that having the chance to host a group of this calibre is a great opportunity to further build New Zealand's profile in Australia. 

"Earlier in May, we hosted a famil of 250 agents from Australia in partnership with Emirates. The feedback they gave us about the trip and the location was fantastic. After that, it was an easy job to pitch New Zealand for this incentive weekend.

"To raise New Zealand's profile with key travel sellers and the senior executives of a key trans-Tasman airline is an outstanding result for the industry, and all comes down to the collaborative approach taken with Hawkes' Bay Tourism and Cape Kidnappers.

"This incentive is also the sort of activity we will seek to increase with the commencement of Tourism New Zealand's new three-year marketing strategy as we focus on positioning New Zealand as a premium visitor destination."

Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown says the quality of New Zealand's tourism product helped influence their decision to bring this group of VIPs across the Tasman.

"We normally indulge our premium partners at our own Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in the Blue Mountains, but the team at Tourism New Zealand made such a strong case on the back of the hugely successful Mega Travel Agent famil, that we could not say no to the promotion.

"Not only do we re-inforce the quality of our twenty-eight weekly trans-Tasman services to a really influential group of Australia's travel industry we can also showcase and deliver one of New Zealand's premium top end regions," he added.        

Annie Dundas, General Manager at Hawkes Bay Tourism says they are thrilled to have the chance to host such an important group of travel industry leaders from Australia.

"The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is truly a world class incentive destination, combined with the proximity to the region's many cellar doors, cycle trails and artisan food growers will provide a perfect incentive and we hope will help raise the region's profile in such an important visitor market."

The group are in the country from 14-17 June.