Understanding the Inbound Tour Operator (ITO)

Inbound tourism is defined as international tourist traffic entering a country. More recently, Inbound tourism is increasingly being referred to as export tourism, because although tourists are travelling through New Zealand, they are spending in foreign currency hence an export.

Inbound Tourism is big business in New Zealand. As of 2016, it overtook dairy to become the number one source of export earnings to New Zealand. To read about the contribution made by tourism to the New Zealand economy, please refer to the latest Tourism Satellite Account report published by Statistics New Zealand.

Inbound Tour Operators play an important role in bringing these tourists to New Zealand, who in turn spend money on the varied tourism related product and service offerings around New Zealand. There has never been a better time or reason to utilise the expertise of an ITO.

Why use a Tourism Export Council Inbound Tour Operator

1. On-the-Spot Handling of Emergencies

Your loved ones can be assured that when booking through an ITO pastoral care for you and all your travel arrangements will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Even the best-planned travel can encounter problems and these are much easier to solve when there is a capable person on hand to help. Accidents, acts of God, cancellations, loss or theft of belongings: these are just a few of the many situations that can be handled with maximum tact and minimum fuss by an ITO.

2. Service From People You Trust

An ITO acts just like your own branch office in New Zealand. Your request takes top priority because an ITO is virtually an extension of your business.

3. Total Coordination of Tours

An ITO will draw together the many aspects that make travel in New Zealand so rewarding. Many different travel combinations can be planned and organised to the last detail, to suit individual client requirements. And ITO’s are not just limited to tour groups; Tourism Export Council tour operators cater for the growing number of Fully Independent Travellers (FITs) who often purchase simple airfare/accommodation packages and self-drive around New Zealand.

4. Up-to-date Information

When changes occur, you will know about them. ITOs keep you informed about a range of topics that may have an effect on your business.

5. Local Advice and Planning

There is nothing like local knowledge. An ITO will give you a first-hand view of the local scene. These are people who have travelled the length and breadth of the country, who stay in the same hotels they recommend, and who fly regularly on New Zealand routes.

6. Bookings Made Easy

It’s as simple as sending an email or a fax. An ITO in New Zealand will coordinate communication between New Zealand ground and air suppliers, and provide the information you need – in a single package.

7. Attractive Volume Rates

An ITO can negotiate on your behalf with hotels and other suppliers for the best available rates.

8. Confidential Agents Tariffs and Brochures

To allow you to quote and plan accurately, you will receive regular communications giving updates on tariffs within New Zealand.

9. Local Guides and Interpreters

An ITO will arrange sightseeing with an experienced and knowledgeable guide in any New Zealand city or exciting resort/wilderness area. Interpreters of many languages can also be booked through an ITO.

10. Specialised Itineraries and Incentives

New Zealand is fast becoming a popular destination for incentive programmes and specialised group tours. For these specific itineraries, an ITO offers invaluable help in coordinating the many details that make for successful group travel.

What are the benefits of using an Inbound Tour Operator?

For product suppliers, working with Tourism Export Council Inbound Tour Operators provide:

  • Access to international tourists – we deliver to your door.
  • Repeat, volume, business.
  • Extensive knowledge of international consumer needs.
  • An extension of your marketing department – eliminating or reducing the need for overseas marketing.
  • Access to a network of overseas offices and representatives.
  • An important function in developing new markets.
  • Guaranteed payment once the product is delivered.

For overseas travel companies, Tourism Export Council Inbound Tour Operators provide:

  • Valuable information on existing and new products.
  • Assurance that customer needs are identified and met.
  • Negotiation of product availability.
  • A one-stop-shop for payments and documentation, saving time and costs.
  • Economies of scale in areas such as ground transport.
  • Care for consumers during their stay, ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Maintenance of quality control.
  • Quality guiding and language services.
  • A 24-hour support service for your customers.
  • Security and local knowledge in cases of emergency.

For overseas visitors – our customers – Tourism Export Council Inbound Tour Operators provide:

  • Local knowledge.
  • An after-hours contact point, especially for emergencies.
  • Quality guiding and language services.
  • Overseeing the delivery of the product and making any changes necessary during the visit.

For the New Zealand tourism industry, Tourism Export Council Tour Operators provide:

  • An ambassador role.
  • Development of new markets.
  • Investment in overseas marketing through joint activities and tourism marketing networks with the New Zealand Tourism Board and overseas wholesalers.
  • Maintenance of standards through quality delivery of New Zealand product.
  • A better and more unified tourism industry through work with the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).
  • A close liaison with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

For another perspective on the benefits of using an ITO, please watch the video below produced by the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand to showcase how to work with the inbound tour operators.