New Zealand losing new business due to hotel rates

Posted by - March 27th, 2017

Inside Tourism – Wed 22 March 2017

DESPITE international holiday arrivals being up 15 percent in the year to January NZ is losing up to 20 percent of new business – thanks to a shortage of hotel rooms.

As a result TEC inbound members called a meeting with hoteliers and revenue managers to discuss the lack of hotel inventory and pricing in Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown.

TEC CEO Lesley Immink tells IT there was general recognition by all that wholesale, corporate, crew, groups and FIT business was up but limited hotel inventory and price increases, were contributing factors re the substantial loss of business for the season.

“The word from offshore trade was that NZ had reached its ceiling for accommodation pricing and careful consideration needs to be had re more price increases,” she says.

“NZ is now viewed as a very expensive destination compared to Europe and others parts of the world and we need to check our value proposition re price, such as paying 5-star prices for a 3 -star hotel, and the ability to complete itineraries.

“Not being able to complete an itinerary with our key destinations and attractions included is akin to a Kiwi wanting to travel to France but not able to visit Paris, Nice or the Beaujolais wine region – so instead they visit Germany.”

During Chinese New Year, it was reported that some product suppliers in Rotorua and Queenstown did not receive as many visitors and that spend was down. That also related to accommodation pricing as less disposable spend available to participate in attractions and activities.

“It’s the law of unintended consequences and while in the first instance high rates affect group tours and inbound clients, it has also affected product supplier profitability. “

Hoteliers told the meeting they have been releasing more wholesale rooms to trade but that the demand from ITOs and across other sectors was high and that there were not enough rooms to feed the demand, which leads to premium pricing.

“Hotels indicated that ITOs should be preparing for dynamic pricing with static pricing on the decrease and not likely to change in the future,” Ms Immink says.

“Feedback from ITOs illustrated that at times multi rooms have been available online and that some offshore agents are finding the rooms at less than the wholesale rate online which is very frustrating and damages the ITO’s reputation. This is a serious issue as once offshore travel trade stop selling NZ it hurts the relationship with offshore wholesale and retail chains who spend a lot of money and effort in promoting NZ on our behalf.”

Also of concern is the proposed Auckland Council commercial accommodation targeted rate. “ITOs are concerned for themselves and the accommodation sector should this be passed by Auckland Council. Accommodation owners and providers would need to pass on the rates increase and TEC members are not confident that offshore travel trade and consumers would be able to take any more price increases. “TEC is preparing a submission stating their support for the accommodation sector and the impacts of higher price increases to Auckland and NZ as a destination.


Prestige Pacific Tours Ltd

Posted by - March 20th, 2017

Southern Discoveries invests in new coaches for Queenstown to Milford Sound day trips

Posted by - March 7th, 2017

Tourism company Southern Discoveries is investing in a fleet of state-of-the-art coaches to service new coach and cruise day trips from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

Three new purpose-built, low-emissions Scania 400EB coaches are being constructed by one of New Zealand’s top coach manufacturers to offer excellent viewing, comfort and enhanced safety.

They feature an extra-wide glass roof that makes the most of the majestic alpine scenery on this world-renowned journey, and comfortable reclining seats with plenty of leg room.

The announcement comes as Southern Discoveries celebrates impressive growth, with significant investment over the past eight years in its Milford Sound and Queenstown operations.

CEO Tim Hunter said the company prided itself on its exceptional customer service and was always looking for new ways to improve products and services to enhance the customer experience.

“With visitor numbers to Milford Sound continuing to rise, we’re expecting strong demand for our new coach and cruise day trips from Queenstown,” he said.

“The road to Milford Sound is a tourism experience in itself, and these new coaches will enable us to offer a seamless service from Queenstown, on vehicles and vessels that are purpose-built for sightseeing.

“We’ll provide multi-lingual commentary en route and ensure we have a number of day trip options to suit the needs of a wide range of visitors.”

Southern Discoveries is Milford Sound’s original cruise operator and has been owned by the Queenstown-based Skeggs family since 2008. The company now operates six cruising vessels and has 130 staff members in Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford Sound.

The company’s range of new experiences introduced over recent years include kayaking in Milford Sound, scenic cruises on Lake Wakatipu and cycling and high country farm experiences in Queenstown.

Southern Discoveries will launch its new coach and cruise products from Queenstown to Milford Sound from August 2017.


TEC Sceptical About Freshwater Announcement

Posted by - February 24th, 2017


On the surface the Government’s Freshwater announcement yesterday looks and sounds good, but the Tourism Export Council is sceptical the release is a smokescreen that disguises the true state of New Zealand’s Freshwater status and is seeking transparency and urgency from government re New Zealand’s declining water quality in the country’s rivers, lakes and streams.

The Prime Minister announced yesterday new standards for freshwater quality with 90% of waterways swimmable by 2040 – which on paper sounds like great news. The Tourism Export Council however joins many environmental groups to voice concerns that this announcement is a rouse and simply not good enough.

Firstly, without a sense of urgency pollution of our waterways will continue to worsen for the foreseeable future – something the Tourism Industry cannot afford.

Secondly, the Government’s definition of ‘swimmable’ is vastly different to what we believe most New Zealand would consider “swimmable”.

Previous, the Government’s measure for freshwater to be safe to drink or swim in has been 260 E coli units per 100 millilitres, that had now been pushed out to 540 units and if a body of freshwater meets that standard 80 per cent of the time, it is deemed ‘swimmable’. Quite simply the goalposts have been widened to ensure more rivers and streams fall within the govt’s threshold of ‘swimmable’.

Up until now, most councils have determined recreational water quality using Ministry of Health guidelines.  Those guidelines state that if you swim somewhere with an E coli level of 550 per 100mls, you have a one in 20 chance of contracting campylobacter.  This is effectively the Govt’s new definition of swimmable – a one in 20 chance of getting sick from swimming in our rivers and streams.  Clearly – not acceptable.

The Tourism Export Council’s chief executive Lesley Immink says there is a lot at stake with potential reputational damage a risk for New Zealand.

“Today’s visitors are environmentally aware and clean water is an essential aspect for New Zealand’s tourism and primary exports future. We have to be seen to be doing all we can to live up to 100% Pure New Zealand promise, backed up by meaningful policy,” Ms Immink says.

Last year, the Council supported the Choose Clean Water Campaign which highlighted that New Zealanders wanted swimmable water.  The campaign ended with a 13,000 signature petition being presented to Parliament calling for better freshwater quality.

Since then tour operators have given a mandate to the Council to continue to advocate for the protection of the environment.

“New Zealand could become the first genuinely sustainable nation.  It has the natural assets and people to make this possible but we risk these assets being eroded by poor decision making, poor business practices and careless decisions”.

We are better than the solutions presented yesterday.

Napier City Visitor Experiences

Posted by - February 21st, 2017

National Aquarium of New Zealand – MTG Museum – Theatre – Gallery – Kennedy Park Accommodation – i-Site – Par 2 Mini Golf – Library – Municpal Theatre – Conference Centre

EZY Tours

Posted by - February 21st, 2017

Private Tours – Transfers – Chaffeur & Conceierge Services – VIP & Government Transport

Church of Good Shepherd – TEC continues to support

Posted by - February 14th, 2017

Lake Tekapo – Upkeep of the Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd has seen increasing impacts from the influx of tourists visiting Lake Tekapo and the Mackenzie district in recent years. TEC is working with the Church to assist with enhancement of the experience for visitors, car-parking and other related issues.

While infrastructure amenity funding has been made available to provide new toilet facilities on the west side of the Tekapo footbridge, there are costs involved in maintaining the church and enhancing the experience itself that are currently being borne by the local parish (the Mackenzie Cooperating Church). TEC encourages coach operators, rental vehicle and inbound companies that visit or promote the Church of the Good Shepherd, to make a donation to help cover the costs of maintaining the Church and experience.  You can find information on how to donate here. In addition, drivers and guides can also encourage their customers to make a donation either using the website or using the onsite donations box on the side of the Church.

Many thanks for recognising that we need to honour and assist this unique New Zealand icon so that it remains a beautiful and respected Church and attraction by all visitors to Tekapo.

New InterCity buses bring business class to the road

Posted by - January 26th, 2017

Two new InterCity double-decker buses are hitting the road this week, offering a new level of luxury for long-distance bus passengers.


The new 65-seater InterCity GOLD buses will travel daily between Auckland and Wellington from Thursday 26 January, with stops along the way including Hamilton, Cambridge, Tokoroa, Taupo, Bulls and Palmerston North.

Each Scania K440 vehicle has 18 GOLD seats on the upper level – large soft leather recliners with individual charge ports and power outlets.

“We’re committed to providing quality travel experiences for our passengers, and InterCity GOLD offers the highest level of comfort in long distance bus travel,” says Sam Peate, InterCity Group General Manager Coachlines and Auckland Tourism.

“With personal charging facilities plus our free mobile WiFi, customers can stay connected throughout their journey.”

Standard seating will also be available on both levels, with standard seats also offering USB charge ports.

InterCity launched its popular GOLD service in 2014 and has been expanding its availability ever since, with GOLD buses now available in both the North and South Islands.

The new buses have more GOLD seats available than on previous vehicles, and are the first with GOLD seats on the upper rather than lower level. Built at a cost of over $1.5m, the 15-tonne double-decker buses stand 4.3m high and 13.5m in length.

InterCity GOLD seats are available on four out of InterCity’s six daily services between Auckland and Wellington. The premium seats are also available on services between Napier and Wellington and between Picton and Christchurch, with more routes to be announced in the near future.

Find out more about InterCity GOLD.

Marketing Manager Position – SEA LIFE Kelly Tarltons

Posted by - January 16th, 2017

MARKETING MANAGER – SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland

We have a fantastic and rare opportunity for an outstanding Marketing Manager to join our team! 

Set on the waterfront of Auckland City next to Okahu Bay, just moments from the CBD and Mission Bay,    SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland is one of Auckland’s top attractions. Hosting over 400,000 visitors annually, Kelly Tarlton’s showcases over 30 live animal exhibits in spectacular habitat displays, including the world’s largest Antarctic penguin colony exhibit and amazing underwater viewing tunnels. It is an exciting place to work, with a fun and passionate team who care a lot about providing great customer experiences. 

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland is owned and operated under the Australia and New Zealand operating group of Merlin Entertainments. Merlin Entertainments is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe. Merlin runs 106 attractions in 23 countries with 22,000 employees across four continents. Our aim is to deliver unique, memorable and rewarding experiences to millions of visitors across our growing estate. We believe that we achieve this objective largely thanks to the commitment and passion of our team and the strength of our brands, which will never fail to be distinctive, challenging and innovative. In every respect and to every group of stakeholders, Merlin will always be an exciting company to be involved with. 

The Role - Reporting directly to the General Manager, you will be responsible for the strategic development and subsequent implementation of the consumer marketing plan of the attraction to achieve the business volume, revenue and EBITDA targets while also supporting and influencing the ANZ Sales team strategy. You will also be responsible for building cross-group relationships with regional partners to maximise promotions, PR and media activity, and ultimate delivery of visitor numbers. 

Desired skills/attributes: 

-          Minimum 5 years in a Marketing role, preferably with some time spent in the consumer leisure industry

-          Proven track record in delivering strategic, commercial and successful marketing plans

-          Ability to work in multi-disciplined/cross functional teams

-          Strong leadership skills

-          Excellent communication skills

-          Hands-on attitude

This is a great opportunity to take your career to a new level and work for one of the world’s best known attraction businesses. So if you are a team player who is vibrant and passionate about delivering exceptional guest experiences in a great company and a team who love what we do, we want to hear from you!

Job -


Work Location - 

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium 
23 Tamaki Drive Orekei
 Auckland 1071
Closing Date (Period for Applying) – External

: 19-Jan-17, 4:59:00 AM

Waitomo Trail RUn

Posted by - January 16th, 2017

Hello all – I hope you all had a great festive break?

I just wanted to put out a message to a few people who wanted to run off a few excess meals from over the festive break. We have the Waitomo Trail run happening on the 29th April 2017. It is a great run over some amazing scenery. Entries for the Waitomo Trail run can be made at . It sold out last year so pre-booking is important.

Waitomo Trail run video - The distances are 6km, 11km and 22km.

THL would like to invite any TEC members an opportunity to visit the caves during the day with their families. This would be a great way to visit the region and visit the caves on an FOC basis for members and immediate family.

Regards and happy to help on any questions.

  Nathan Williams
Sales Manager New Zealand, Asia and North America| Tourism Holdings Limited |
Maui | Britz | Mighty | Kiwi Experience | Waitomo | Road Bear
MOB: +6427 5388 711 | DDI: +64 93364245 | International Travel Trade Helpline: 00800 200 80 801 |
83 Beach Road, Auckland  1010 | PO Box 4293, Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1140Visit to use our Agent Resource pdf documents in various languages (click on ‘Agent Resources’).

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