By Matt Leedham @worldofleedham17 May 2018New Zealand’s premier Travel show TRENZ will head to Rotorua in May 2019 after another hugely successful Conference closed in Dunedin last week, with 1500 delegates departing after a week of business connections, new friendships and Kiwi inspiration. The annual event was the first time the show was in the South Island city of Dunedin (perhaps New Zealand’s most underrated city), and the proud locals didn’t hold back on the hospitality front with a warm welcome wherever delegates went. They even managed to entice the sun out to shine on the city throughout the entire week. No-one was expecting that, including me who brought way too many warm clothes that weren’t even needed. And better still, this was a conference that even had its own signature beer! When was the last time you went to a meeting that had such a crowd pleaser? Probably never. Created by local brew meisters Emersons, the ‘official’ tagline for the Golden Ale hilariously said… “After drinking this brainwashing liquid, you’ll be Dunedin’s biggest fan. You’ll bore anyone within earshot with facts like, ‘Dunedin has such a great vibe’, ‘Dunedin has beautiful white sandy beaches’, and ‘Dunedin has exceptional beer’. Aside from tasting like propaganda, this lightly hopped golden ale is crisp and refreshing, like our weather. And dry, like our humour. Take a sip, and spread the word”. That was me sold. Absolute genius I say. Buyers this year had come to TRENZ from as far away as Europe, South America, China and of course primary market Australia where this year over 50 wholesalers alone was represented. The main show floor The Luxury Travel Lunch speaker session TRENZ is the annual opportunity for New Zealand tourism operators to tout their wares to a global audience and meet and connect with the travel industry who help distribute their products worldwide. Over the course of the three days, delegates got to wander the floor of the waterfront Edgar Centre amidst hundreds of stalls set up by innovative New Zealand tourism operators. They reconnected with old contacts and discussed new businesses as well as heard from industry leaders in the event Lunch Speaker series. Eating these cheese rolls will change your life… There was delicious Otago Pinot to quaff, Bluff oysters and cheeses to try, Moonshine from Gore to fire you up and local speciality ‘cheese rolls’ to be scoffed at morning and afternoon tea. No-one went hungry that’s for sure. Delegates also got the chance to sample Dunedin’s outdoor charms on an activity afternoon where they were delighted by the beauty of the city and the stunning natural surrounds. How many conferences do you go to where you only see the inside of an event centre? Not here. Building an activity afternoon into the agenda was a hit with everyone. Trenz Mountain biking in Dunedin The evening events saw a variety of social networking functions that went on late into each night. There was the Welcome Function at Dunedin’s indoor Forsyth Barr Stadium, a loud pop-up party at Dunedin Railway station (New Zealand’s most Instagrammed location), a Scottish themed night at New Zealand’s only castle – Larnach Castle and the finale, a farewell party of epic proportions at the historic Dunedin Town Hall. #dunedin Railway Station, home of @dunedinrailways Thanks to @landmarksnz for the image 👍 #dunnerstunner #dunedinnz A post shared by Dunedin, New Zealand (@dunedinnz) on Apr 26, 2018 at 3:22am PDT The Larnach Castle Media Function (with Haggis) Larnach Castle One crazy delegate, Henry van Asch, Co-founder of AJ Hackett decided he would arrive at the event by ‘bungee’ and was dropped in by a helicopter. You can read all about his dramatic arrival here. Dunedin and the Tourism Association of New Zealand who put on the show did the country proud, and everything worked seamlessly from beginning to end. Henry van Asch, Co-Founder of AJ Hackett Bungee’s into the conference Next year, TRENZ will move back to Rotorua in the North Island and the place from 13-16 May in 2019 at Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre. “Rotorua is a fantastic host region, and we are excited to be taking TRENZ back there next year. With the strong support of Destination Rotorua, we will be able to showcase some of New Zealand’s most exceptional tourism experiences to our international guests,” says Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts. Rotorua here we come… Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand, says “Rotorua offers a unique tourism offering and a range of world-class activities that will appeal to TRENZ attendees. “As the home of New Zealand’s first tourism department in 1901, Rotorua is a fitting location, steeped in history and rich in culture to host the country’s biggest travel and trade event.” After Rotorua next year, TRENZ will then move to Christchurch in 2020. It will be the first time that TRENZ will be in Christchurch since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and a fantastic opportunity for people to see for themselves the incredible transformation that has happened since the tragic events. Christchurch will welcome back TRENZ in 2020 “Taking TRENZ back to Christchurch has been a long held-wish and is a great opportunity to showcase the city’s recovery to the international market,” says TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts. Christchurch NZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris says they are delighted to be partnering with TIA to bring TRENZ back to Christchurch. “The last time we hosted New Zealand’s national tourism showcase was back in 2005 and 2006. Our city is more than ready to welcome the international tourism buyers and exhibitors to back to the Christchurch & Canterbury region – we can’t wait to show off our exciting new city to the world,” says Ms Norris. Find out more: www.trenz.co.nz READ: 10 choice reasons to head to hip Dunedin in New Zealand READ: TRENZ 2018: More Aussies are putting NZ on their travel map, more often Will you be going to TRENZ 2019 in Rotorua? Other stories you may like WHEN LUGGAGE GOES M.I.A: A survival guide for when an airline loses your bags OUTBACK TO OCEAN ROAD: Trafalgar opens domestic trips to Aussie travellers FREE WHEELIN’: a road trip on New Zealand’s South Island is the wild ride you need right now!