I spent last week alongside my colleagues and three local businesses representing Marlborough at Trenz.
Trenz is an annual international trade show where travel buyers from around the world come to New Zealand in search of new experiences to package and sell to their customers – our future visitors.
At an event like this there are several hundred enthusiastic people representing New Zealand activities, accommodation, transport and tour options sitting in their allocated space ready with their best sales pitch. This is all about inspiring people's travel decisions. It's fun and rewarding when business connections are made.
Having the whole country on show in one location reinforces that New Zealand is a diverse holiday destination, and while we all work together as an industry to attract visitors to the country, we then compete for their time in our region.
We are fortunate that Marlborough is internationally recognised as a wine-producing region because this is a great conversation starter with travel buyers. They talk fondly of Marlborough through the reputation of our wine, which allows us to turn the conversation to what visitors can see and do once they are attracted to visit our region. Quite handy, really.
Queenstown also capitalises on this approach with a reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand synonymous for bungy jumping. It attracts people to want to visit but I can guarantee you only a small portion of them actually take the leap.
Along with the one-on-one meetings with international travel buyers during Trenz, there were a series of industry announcements and seminars, this year mainly on new and emerging countries from which New Zealand is starting to attract visitors.
Indonesia is forecast to be one of the fastest growing outbound tourism markets. The statistics out of India and China, too, are staggering and show there is future potential for our region to attract more visitors from these markets.
But in the meantime we have some work to do, as it is not just about convincing travel buyers to include Marlborough in their clients' itineraries. If we are to grow international visitor spend in Marlborough, we need to ensure our accommodation and activity businesses are prepared for more visitors from countries with cultural differences to our own to ensure they feel welcome and enjoy their stay.
Tracy Johnston is general manager of Destination Marlborough.
- The Marlborough Express
Post a comment