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First Tourism New Zealand Regional Showcase in two years returns to Sydney

In what was another milestone moment for the resumption of trans-Tasman travel, Tourism New Zealand's typically annual Regional Showcase made its face-to-face return to Sydney after a two-year hiatus from May 9-10, 2022.

In what was another milestone moment for the resumption of trans-Tasman travel, Tourism New Zealand’s typically annual Regional Showcase made its face-to-face return to Sydney after a two-year hiatus from May 9-10, 2022.

The two-day Tourism New Zealand Regional Showcase is the annual event that allows Regional Tourism Operators (RTOs) to establish relationships with new and existing key travel sellers while gaining essential market intelligence and insights into the Australian market.

This year’s event took on even more meaning and celebration as it was the first opportunity for delegates from 27 Regional Tourism Operators to reconnect with the Australian travel trade industry in person since the border reopened to Australian travellers on April 13.

Thankfully now for everyone, the only bubbles being talked about were the ice-cold sparkling ones at the post-event drinks.

On the panel hosted by Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia, Andrew Waddel was Tourism New Zealand CEO René de Monchy, Quentin Long, MD Australian Traveller Media, Scott Callaway, GM Trade Development Christchurch Airport and Karryon founder Matt Leedham

Day one of the showcase was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and featured market updates and insights and a keynote from Tourism Tasmania’s Carolyn Miller.

There was also an expert panel hosted by Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia, Andrew Waddel discussing current travel trends with Tourism New Zealand CEO René de Monchy, Scott Callaway, GM Trade Development Christchurch Airport, (yours truly) Karryon founder Matt Leedham and Quentin Long, MD Australian Traveller Media.

To close Day one, attendees, including RTOs, the Tourism New Zealand Australian market team, Minister for Tourism Stuart Nash, Dame Annette King, and guest speakers, were invited to connect over an informal dinner.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia, Andrew Waddel

On Day two at the Sofitel Darling Harbour, over 50 attendees, including key representatives from the Australian trade, participated in one-on-one scheduled networking appointments, to learn more and engage with New Zealand RTOs, hearing firsthand about the regions and exciting updates.

Speaking to the attendees ahead of the networking sessions Minister for Tourism Stuart Nash talked about the importance of the trans-Tasman relationship and the reconnection taking place on the day.

Dame Annette King and Minister for New Zealand Tourism Stuart Nash

He said in his speech, “The Australian market is incredibly important to New Zealand. But this is the challenge for New Zealand, while we’re mates, we can never take the Australian market for granted. We still need to work incredibly hard to understand the expectations of Australian consumers and tourists and work to meet through expectations.”

The trans-Tasman future looks bright for New Zealand

With Australian demand for short-haul travel destinations such as Fiji already outlining the opportunity for success, it’s clear that New Zealand stands to benefit significantly from the resumption of trans-Tasman travel as more Australians look for enriching experiences closer to home.

New Zealand’s announcement of the reopening of the maritime border on July 31, 2022, also means cruise lines can start confirming port calls and preparing ships with certainty for the 2022-23 season.

“New Zealand is an important destination for cruise lines. With worldwide demand for cruising strong again, combined with excellent regional dispersal, this sector ticks every box for value,” said the New Zealand Cruise Association Chair Debbie Summers.

For more information on the latest New Zealand travel information, head to covid19.govt.nz/international-travel