New Zealand’s biggest tourism event of the year, TRENZ 2018 has begun in the Southern Island City of Dunedin for the first time ever.

Around 1500 international and New Zealand delegates are in Dunedin for TRENZ 2018 which runs from the 7-10 May and this year will see more than 16,500 15-minute meetings with several hundred leading tourism operators, resulting in tens of millions of dollars’ worth of new business for New Zealand’s tourism industry.

That’s some serious ‘business speed dating’ and so it’s good to see that there’s plenty of sugar and snacks on offer to help sustain everyone’s energy and focus levels.

The main floor at TRENZ

The main floor at TRENZ 2018

“This year we have 387 buyers from 27 markets, which range from traditional visitor markets like Australia, the USA, UK and Japan to newer, emerging visitor markets, such as Brazil and the Philippines,” says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, which organises and manages TRENZ.

“The buyers have travelled here to discover new and exciting tourism products and experiences that they can sell to consumers in their home markets, and to strengthen existing relationships.”

Mr Roberts goes on to say, “These buyers are not small-fry. More than a quarter of buyers at last year’s TRENZ sent more than 5000 visitors to New Zealand every year, and 64% expected to persuade their clients to stay longer and spend more in New Zealand because of the deals and discoveries they made at TRENZ.”


Delegates are welcomed with a traditional haka at the welcome function

This year’s TRENZ will showcase 49 new experiences with many of them quirky additions of the kind New Zealand has become internationally known for.


Introducing… The GO Glamper

A Steampunk museum in Omaru, an innovative solar powered camping option called ‘Go Glamper’, an adventure business founded to grow the confidence of urbanites in the outdoors based in Mount Maunganui, and an all-in-one 3D Trick Art Gallery in Rotorua are among the range of new tourism products that will be on show at TRENZ 2018.


“We are very excited that this year’s TRENZ will showcase 49 incredibly diverse new products, ranging from scenic helicopter flights with ex-All Black captain Richie McCaw, to an interactive turtle rescue simulator, to a guest house hosting artists-in-residence in the Queenstown hills,”

Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa

All are experiences that Australian traveller’s will no doubt lap up. Well, perhaps not the Richie McCaw helicopter tour. Though he’s promised not to talk about rugby to any Aussies.

Such is the man that believe it or not, Richie McCaw is even at the show himself doing Powerpoint Presentations to prospective clients. Already his booth is proving to be one of the most popular.

All Black Legend Richie McCaw and is business Christchurch Helicopters

All Black Legend Richie McCaw and is business Christchurch Helicopters

Australia still leads the way for visitor arrivals into New Zealand and it certainly shows no signs of slowing down. In 2017 The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 1.35 million Australian’s visited New Zealand, a number which grew 6.9% versus the previous year.

Indeed Tourism New Zealand says that by their calculations, the land of the long white cloud will see a whopping 25% growth in Australian visitors by 2024.


TRENZ 2018, which is being held at the Edgar Centre on the waterfront in Dunedin will itself inject an estimated $2 million into the local economy. 1500 delegates will be housed, fed and entertained in the city and hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent in staging the event,” says Mr Roberts.

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