The recent week-long industry-led Rotorua Tourism Mission across the Tasman. Destination Rotorua and a group of key tourism operators were in Australia to charm travel agents in Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast.
The roadshow was fronted by Destination Rotorua and showcased the destination to more than 350 travel agents and corporate planners.
Other Rotorua businesses participating were Tamaki Maori Village, Agroventures Adventure Park, Rotorua Canopy Tours, Skyline Rotorua, Te Puia, Millennium Hotels New Zealand, OGO, Adventure Playground Rotorua along with Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.
The unprecedented turnout in Australia is expected to yield excellent results for the upcoming 2015-2016 summer season. In 2015, record-breaking visitor arrivals to New Zealand cracked the three million milestone and in the same year, Australian arrivals to Rotorua increased 30%, and overall spend from these visitors was up 28%. Tourism New Zealand is expecting 2016 to be a flagship year.
At each tourism mission event, Australian travel agents were treated to a cultural performance, with the evening culminating in an Air New Zealand sponsored prize of a trip to Rotorua.
Agents raved about the impressive Rotorua presence and revelled in the great diversity of tourism products and attractive pricing. One very impressed agent said: “The spirit of the destination dominated the evening; the cultural performance was a real treat; and the suppliers were all brilliant.”
With four promotional events in just four days, including two in Sydney and one in Brisbane, the week-long roadshow finished on the Gold Coast on a high-note, with Rotorua operators treating the entire staff of travel company ANZCRO to a New Zealand inspired and personalised food-truck meal.
Owen Eagles, managing director of ANZCRO said he expected the next season to be even better than last year.
“ANZCRO is one of the largest travel sellers of New Zealand and we like to do business with the people we know. We love the Rotorua creativity and energy for promoting your region. You guys always come up with new ideas that really break the mould. ”
Destination Rotorua trade manager, Patrick Dault, said the sales mission was pivotal for getting the Rotorua message and products top-of-mind for travel sellers, ahead of the busy season.
“In the Australian Market Rotorua is fast becoming a key New Zealand destination in its own right,” added Mr Dault.
Throughout the roadshow, operators demonstrated a keenness to develop relationships with new clients and agents, and to get their brand messages out.
“This is invaluable for us. It’s our first experience, but we will definitely be back,” said Steve Roberts, of Adventure Playground Rotorua.
“The people we met were thrilled to find out about our new product, and the camaraderie we forged with our Rotorua industry members made the 5am morning wake-up calls a bearable experience.”