Tourism New Zealand is to host more than 85 travel
agents over the next three months to get them up to speed with all the
latest developments in New Zealandís tourism industry.
May and June are peak season for Tourism New Zealandís trade
familiarisation programme and a total of 14 famil visits are due to take
place over this time. A mixture of high-end product buyers and front
line retail agents will visit New Zealand from the US, Canada, the
Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Korea and Thailand.
trade realise the importance of really knowing about New Zealand before
they can confidently and passionately sell it," said Rachael Shadbolt,
Tourism New Zealand Operations Support Manager.
Zealand hosts around 20 famils each year, with over 160 agents
participating in the programme in 2008/09. In March, 18 product managers
from India and Japan were hosted, with the Indian group following the
20/20 cricket tour around the country.
"The global economic
situation does seem to have had some impact, with the number of agents
participating in famils slightly down on last year. This is due mainly
to bans on business travel, company restructures and
general cautiousness around forward sales," Ms Shadbolt
added. "But we are
still very busy."
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George
Hickton said it is important to continue building relationships with key
travel trade partners, even at a time when demand for outbound travel in
many of our markets has slowed.
"Training the travel trade and
ensuring they understand New Zealandís tourism product is an important
part of our work. Even in difficult economic times, building these trade
relationships - and making agents passionate about New Zealand - is
something we can continue doing in order to help ensure we come out of
the downturn better than we went in."
Tourism New Zealand tries
to keep trade famils to a minimum during peak season, as New Zealand
operators donít have the capacity to host at this time. However, it is
important to balance this with when the product buyers find it easiest
to travel to NZ and this is why April is traditionally the busiest famil
"Participant companies are carefully selected and need to
be well-established New Zealand sellers," said Rachael Shadbolt. "The
aim of any famil is to then show participants regions of the country
which they may be unfamiliar with and to maximise opportunities to
showcase the product offerings in these regions."
"We can have a
big impact not only in increasing knowledge, but in instilling
excitement to sell New Zealand."
Tourism New Zealandís famil
programme is coordinated in cooperation with the regional tourism
organisations. Operators interested in participating should contact
their local RTO to discuss opportunities.
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