The energy in Queenstown for tourism is inspiring Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain.
Tremain, visiting for the sector’s big annual powwow Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand (TRENZ), says the energy at the tradeshow and networking base at the Events Centre in Frankton today (Tuesday) was electric.
The four-day event which kicked off yesterday is a hugely important networking opportunity, where tourism providers from around the country do business with international buyers and travel agents. The Events Centre is abuzz with activity – there are 308 international travel buyers, 270 NZ exhibitors, plus international and domestic media.
“The energy in that room was second to none,” Tremain told guests at an Auckland Airport function at SkyCity Queenstown focusing on emerging Asia markets.
“To me it’s just reflective of where New Zealand is at as a tourism destination now. We’re going for it.”
New Zealand ambassador to Indonesia David Taylor also spoke saying Indonesia’s burgeoning middleclass – between 30 and 50 million people – is an increasingly important outbound visitor market for New Zealand and Queenstown.
“Building closer ties and relationships with Indonesia is vital for New Zealand to attract these burgeoning travellers.”
Auckland Airport, which has a 24.99 per cent share of Queenstown Airport, is hosting Indonesia celebrity chef Farah Quinn in Queenstown during TRENZ as part of a push to promote the resort and country to her huge fan base back home. Quinn is a social media phenomenon in Indonesia with a quarter of a million Twitter followers and more than a million Facebook fans.
Auckland Airport recently signed a memorandum of understanding with airline Garuda Indonesia to commit to re-opening air-links between the two countries.
Taylor says: “A direct service between Indonesia and New Zealand would be a game-changer for the relationship, offering real benefits to both countries through greater business, tourism and educational travel.”
Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter says his company has the ability to make long-dated investments to build burgeoning visitor markets like Indonesia.
“It’s part of the role Auckland Airport can play. We can afford to put a bit of effort into investing in markets that might be a few years away from paying off.”