Tourism New Zealand teams up with RTOs to up-skill agents

More than 50 travel agents from India and South East Asia visited New Zealand this month to wrap up almost a year of up-skilling themselves on New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager South and South East Asia, Steven Dixon says it was fantastic to be able to bring these agents to New Zealand to show them first-hand what they’ve been learning about.

“By coming on the trip the agents ticked off the final requirement to become Gold 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists – a visit to New Zealand. We are confident that the knowledge the agents acquired by experiencing New Zealand themselves will help them to better sell New Zealand as a holiday destination to their clients.”

The agents landed in Auckland where a one day workshop was held with 25 regional tourism organisations (RTO’s) before they headed out around the country.

Consumer insights and product updates were shared between the agents and RTO’s through one-on-one meetings. Tourism New Zealand also provided a market update before the workshop concluded with an award ceremony to recognise the agents becoming Gold specialists.

Gil Abercrombie from Enterprise Dunedin says the workshop provided a great opportunity to build awareness of New Zealand’s regions with agents committed to promoting New Zealand to their growing outbound markets. 

“In-destination training events such as this don’t just build agents’ knowledge of New Zealand, they also increase their confidence in our ability as RTO’s to satisfy their clients’ expectations.” 

Tourism New Zealand worked with the regional tourism organisations to develop three different itineraries for the agents.

The two North Island groups explored Auckland, Waitomo, Hamilton, Matamata, Rotorua, Taupō, Napier, Wairarapa and Wellington. In the South Island the agents spent time in Canterbury, Queenstown, Central Otago and Dunedin.

“We designed the itineraries so the agents could experience as many regions as possible in the short time they were here. They got to experience tourist attractions, accommodation and restaurants that we know will appeal to their clients.

“The feedback about the trip we’ve received from agents since they returned to their respective countries has been really positive. We will continue to work with these clients to ensure they’re kept up to date with New Zealand products. We will also seek to engage more agents in the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme to grow the pool of agents who are experts in building ‘must do’ holiday itineraries for their clients.