A cluster of six Top of the South regions went north last week to update inbound tour operators on their broad range of activities and highlights.
After a successful inaugural Top of the South trade event in 2014, six regional tourism offices joined forces to promote itineraries around the northern half of the South Island. Nelson Tasman Tourism was joined by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, Destination Kaikoura, Hurunui Tourism, Destination Marlborough and Tourism West Coast to promote itineraries around their regions.
The group held a lunch for 34 Chinese ITOs at the Heritage Auckland, with regional updates and a grand prize draw of two return flights from Christchurch to Guangzhou on the new China Southern service starting in December. Chinese New Zealand media outlet SkyKiwi also covered the event.
A trade-focused day followed with 33 representatives from the Top of the South regions meeting with 33 ITOs to promote their products and form strong business links.
Christchurch Airport sponsored the Top of South for a second year. Scott Callaway, from Christchurch Airport says the airport is committed to working with all the regions of the South Island under its South project.
“We are very supportive of regions taking that concept further by working together in clusters to feature specific areas, themes or itineraries. Top of the South brings great focus to a part of the South that has excellent product and variety, with plenty of growth potential,” he says.
NTT International Marketing Manager, Gisela Purcell, says the team effort with regional tourism organisations working together supported by Christchurch Airport made the event a huge success.
“Putting together suggested touring routes and itineraries really helps ITOs understand the huge offering we have here,” she says.
Nelson Tasman representatives included NZ Classic Motorcycles, Yonderstar Charters, Reid Helicopters Wilsons Abel Tasman, Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle, Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures, Skydive Abel Tasman and Tasman Helicopters.
Ingrid Penfold from NZ Classic Motorcycles and Yonderstar Charters says the day was a valuable opportunity to showcase what the Top of the South as a whole has on offer, from whales to wine, national parks to glaciers, golden sand to hot springs and much more.
“It was a well organised day, meeting with a cross section of ITOs who were interested in sending more visitors to our region,” she says.