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TRENZ was held in the South Island Alpine resort of Queenstown for the first time (May 23-25). Dave Richardson reports

Special offers drive Brits to New Zealand

UK tour operators are pleading for

more special offers to boost the flagging UK market to New Zealand following the success of an Australian Pacific Touring initiative. The coach tour operator ran a short-

term sales blitz during May offering free air fares with tours of at least 14 days' duration, which Austravel managing director Joel Saunders said had been a big success. “Suppliers have become very receptive

Accor on the up in New Zealand New Zealand’s biggest hotel group,

Accor, has opened the first hotel at Auckland Airport, and joined a new consortium pushing up-market business to Queenstown in South Island. The 263-room Novotel Auckland

Airport has a green 'living wall' in the lobby, Maori design features, all-day dining and state-of-the-art entertainment. It is totally soundproofed from airport noise despite being only 200 yards from the international terminal. The Sofitel is one of 10 founding members of Queenstown Prestige, which aims to change the resort’s image as appealing mainly to adventure tourists and backpackers.

to driving business, as the UK market is so important,” he said. “But we need to see more of this sort of thing. “The Rugby World Cup will do New Zealand a lot of favours, especially after the Christchurch earthquake. There has been a surge in demand for tickets and hotels are already full on certain match days, but there is still plenty of capacity on other dates.” The cup will be staged from September 9 to October 23 over 13 venues, with the England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland teams expected to


Stretch out with Air New Zealand Air New Zealand is to revamp

Premium Economy on its Boeing 777- 300 flights from London to Auckland via Los Angeles, which also feature Economy Skycouch seating for families with young children. A row of seats will be taken out of Premium Economy by August, giving an extra four inches of legroom.

Queenstown's Remarkable Lodge Remarkables Lodge, a luxury boutique hotel in the mountains near Queenstown, has launched a 'Best of Both Worlds' package with Sofitel. It includes two nights at each property, transfers and a wine or jet boat trip, from NZ$1,895. Operators include Premier Holidays and Abercrombie & Kent.

Motel Pass brings consistency The Bella Vista Motel Pass from Central Reservations offers consistent quality standards at 28 New Zealand properties. The group also operates the Luxury Motels and New Zealand Apartments brands, and is sold by UK operators including Qantas Holidays and Travel 2. Contact UK representative: • July/August 2011 15

attract about 20,000 followers. UK visitors continued their

downward trend in the 12 months to March, dropping 13.9% to 219,899. UK expenditure slumped 17.7% to NZ$668 million, these figures being little affected by the Christchurch earthquake on February 22. Gregg Anderson, Tourism New

Zealand general manager for Western long-haul markets, said: “The UK is still our second biggest market after Australia. Sales of official World Cup packages are down, as many fans are putting together their own holidays with match tickets. “We are putting more of our effort

into the youth market, including working holiday visas.” Over 300 agents registered for training on the Kiwi Specialist Programme between October and May. Over 70 have completed 10 or more modules, and 10 are fully qualified having visited the country.

Christchurch fights back

New Zealand’s second city faces a long fight-back after the devastating earthquake of February 22. About 900 buildings face demolition, including the Grand Chancellor, Christchurch’s largest hotel. Most city centre hotels are within the cordoned off zone, but some have only water damage and will re-open eventually. The quake devastated the historic cathedral and Arts Centre, but flights to Christchurch airport are back at full capacity, and the adjacent International Antarctic Centre -- its leading tourist attraction – was also unaffected. Christchurch can only handle independent travellers at present, using small hotels and motels. Most group business has moved away, impacting on the whole of South Island. Tim Hunter, chief executive of Christchurch Tourism, said: “We are New Zealand’s second most important tourism hub with 580,000 international arrivals last year. “Practically all tourism activities are

working and 68% of beds will be operational by year end. The chance to rebuild a new central city is fantastic, and tourism has a voice in what happens.”


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