The Sunshine Coast has staged a series of trade expos in New Zealand aimed at boosting inbound travel to the Sunny Coast on the back of new direct summer services by Air New Zealand.
In the last International Visitor Survey, the UK market edged out New Zealand as the Sunshine Coast’s top inbound performer, but with the new direct services, it is expected that the Kiwi market will regain its ascendancy by the start of February.
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited (SCDL) staged a series of trade expos last week in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, with seven local operators providing updates and training to over 200 retail and wholesale travel agents, product managers and other key industry and media contacts aimed at boosting visitation from New Zealand.
CEO of Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, Simon Ambrose, said the trade mission was a wonderful opportunity to connect local Sunshine Coast tour operators with the New Zealand travel industry representatives and media.
“This mission educated wholesale and front line agents about the Sunshine Coast and will also assist to increase awareness of the direct Air New Zealand flights from Auckland to the Sunshine Coast for the upcoming summer service and 2016 season,” Simon said.
A consumer event with House of Travel in Christchurch was added into the schedule this year to provide the tourism operators with the opportunity to meet with consumers thinking about taking a holiday in the Sunshine Coast.
“The New Zealand market has always been one of the largest international source markets for the Sunshine Coast with 58,000 visitors making the trip across the ditch to the year ending June 2015. The latest trade mission should further boost the tourism numbers and support for the Air New Zealand direct flight service to the Sunshine Coast.
“Complementary to the timing of our mission, is an agent incentive, the innovative new digital campaign targeting Kiwis that we have just launched in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and also the announcement Air New Zealand has extra flights to the Sunshine Coast in 2016.
“It’s very important that we continue to keep the Kiwi travel industry up to date with what’s happening across the region,” added Simon.
Attending the mission for the first time, Rebecca Maitland, Associate Director of Sales for Novotel Twin Waters Resort said, “The Sunshine Coast Roadshow was a great way to showcase the region and product offerings. The event was a success and enjoyed by all suppliers with an excellent turnout at each workshop. The general eagerness from all the agents to learn more about the Sunshine Coast was inspiring and it was well worth the investment.”
Operators who participated in the trade mission included Australia Zoo, Dreamtime Resorts, Aussie World, Glass House Mountains Ecolodge, Sea Life Mooloolaba, Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Noosa International Resort and Fairshore Noosa Resort.