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3 Shed 10 begins spruce up and Insight Vacations drops in
13 Technology The latest travel technology news and product
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Tok Tok gets real Traveltrade experiences the real Vanuatu at an all new Tok Tok
10 Stephen Mansfield from Quest Service Apartment Group
19 Travel as a business James Hacon offers tips for e-newsletters and Paul Davies looks at inspirational businesses
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Get out and explore I managed to get away from my desk this month to experience the new Tok Tok Vanuatu format and was reminded why I raved about it so much the last time I visited. This year, the Kiwi wholesalers were offered the chance to visit both Espiritu Santo and Tanna Island. The Vanuatu Tourism Office has been heavily promoting the outer islands to visitors for the past few years now, especially to Kiwis who tend to get to Port Vila and stay plonked down on their deck chair for a good week or so without actually experiencing what this amazing destination has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great resorts on the island of Efate (where the main town of Port Vila is located), but if clients really want to experience the authenticity of these Pacific islands (and trust me, Vanuatu is as authentic as you can get), they need to get past the gateway and out to the less visited islands. Santo and Tanna are the two more accessible islands out of the bunch. By reputation, Tanna offers adventure and incredible culture with Mt Yasur volcano and its remote villages, while Santo provides the idyllic white sand, clear water beaches that your photos won’t do justice. But, if you look carefully, you will find that both of these islands offer a little of both. Santo has some great canyoning/waterfall adventure tours, while Tanna has beautiful black sand beaches and clear water snorkelling spots for more relaxed days. As long as clients get to at least one of these places on their next journey to Vanuatu, it will increase the quality of their holiday tenfold. Hayley Barnett NZ Traveltrade editor Email: email@example.com Phone: 022 030 0472 facebook/com/nztraveltrademagazine
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WIN a merino Icebreaker
This month Traveltrade is giving away one women’s and one men’s Icebreaker LS Oasis Crewe Bodyfit base layer, ideal if you plan on travelling to cooler climates or if you just want to keep warm on your day-to-day journey as we move from winter to spring. Icebreaker has you covered for travel and urban adventures in lightweight, breathable, non-itch premium merino across seasons and across continents. The Icebreaker LS Oasis Crewe is available in a range of colours, including turf for women (pictured) and cobalt for men. To enter, simply visit www.traveltrade.co.nz Congratulations to Kaye Clements from Mondo Travel Orewa, the winner of last month's Jet Park Hotel competition.
Spruce up begins for Shed 10
Luke Henshall and Rod Marler, Waterfront Auckland, inside Shed 10 before construction begins
Auckland’s new cruise terminal, Shed 10, will begin construction this month, and Auckland Council and Waterfront Auckland have announced they will stick to the original design and character of the shed as much as possible. Besides a tidy up of the heritage listed building, which dates back to 1910, the $14.6m makeover will focus on opening up the sides of the building to allow passengers from international cruise ships to arrive during the day, and also as a viewing platform for events at night. Part of the tourism event TRENZ has already been booked for the twostorey venue that can hold up to 3500 people, and the council believes it will be a popular choice for future events if its neighbour The Cloud is anything to go by. “Forty weekends were booked at The Cloud from August until May next year,” says Waterfront Auckland public spaces manager Connie Clarkson. “There are only seven weekends left so that just goes to show how popular the area is.” Shed 10 recently formed part of the festivities for the Rugby World Cup 2011 Fanzone on Queen’s Wharf.
Gaining Insight to 2013/14 Insight Vacations has reported growth in its experiential tours over the past year, and now offers a new historical ‘war’ tour amongst a range of other newbies in its Europe and Britain 2013/14 programme. CEO John Boulding, who was in Auckland and Christchurch recently to promote the upcoming itineraries, says travellers are looking for something different and Insight took this into account when designing the new tours. “People are looking for more experiential tours to get off the beaten track,” he says. “Trips that involve wine tastings and heritage tours are very popular right now.”
Treasures of Greece and the Islands, and Highlights of Portugal have been added to the new programme. Boulding says Greece is set to bounce back in 2013. “We have added the new Greece tour as we believe Greece is coming back,” he says. “It offers good value and buying opportunities.” The new World War I Battlefield extension can be added to selected France and Discovery tours in some of the Europe options. “The World War I tour is the perfect add on to any of these trips,” says Boulding. “There is growing interest in war time
Insight Vacations’ New Zealand GM Dave Salisbury and CEO John Boulding
tours, which are about rediscovering a part of our heritage.”
new trAvel folk Wayne Deed
WAYNE DEED is the new Destination NSW regional manager for New Zealand, joining the NSW team from October 8. Deed moves to Destination NSW from Stella Travel Services where he has been product and marketing manager for Australia, Sports and Events and the Pacific Islands for GO Holidays. Prior to this, Deed worked with Air New Zealand for six years in a variety of roles from retail manager to holiday’s product development manager. As regional manager, Deed will work closely with industry, operators, airlines and key partners to drive visitors to NSW and work towards the NSW government’s goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.
Following the inaugural season of direct flights between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Destination Limited say it wants to capitalise on further increases and has appointed KATE WRIGHT (nee Strange) as a part-time in market representative to be based in Auckland. Wright has a strong destination marketing background having worked for Tourism Australia, Destination NSW and Tourism New Zealand in the New Zealand market. Sunshine Coast Tourism CEO Steve Cooper says: “Wright is passionate about travel and tourism and has strong marketing and industry experience that will be an asset to the Sunshine Coast.”
Travel company World Expeditions has appointed NATALIE TAMBOLASH as leader of the New Zealand team in Auckland. Tambolash spent six years at Jasons Travel Media rising to the position of operations manager, and four years with Rail Plus becoming acting general manager. “With a passion for travel and an expertise in online activation, we know we have a travel professional with energy, drive and a determination to succeed as our new manager for New Zealand,” explains World Expeditions CEO Sue Badyari. Tambolash replaces Tali Emdin who has been with World Expeditions for ten years including four years as general manager in New Zealand.
range of local food and wine suppliers.
for two, a $60 food and beverage voucher to spend in the hotel and valet parking, from $160 per night. Stay and Celebrate 60 is available for bookings made in September and October 2012 and valid until January 31, 2013.
New Swissôtel for Dubai
Peppers foodie heaven
Peppers Salt Resort and Spa in Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales is offering two gourmet weekend escapes. The ‘Riches of the Volcanic Trail’ weekend escapes will take place on October 26-28, 2012 and February 15-17, 2013 with executive chef Reuben Radonich. Priced from A$998 per couple, the weekend event package includes two nights accommodation in a one-bedroom spa suite, full buffet breakfast for two people at Season restaurant daily, full use of resort leisure facilities and unlimited in-room movies. Chef Radonich will share his local food knowledge with guests whilst they taste their way through the food trail from a 4
Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts has announced it is adding another hotel to the Middle East region: Swissôtel Jadaf Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Expected to open by early 2016, the new build hotel is five minutes from Dubai’s airport, and will be comprised of more 280 rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, three speciality restaurants with outdoor areas, as well as a Pürovel Spa. Meeting, conference and ballroom facilities will round out the amenities of the hotel. The hotel will be built within a mixed-use development comprising three hotels, residences, serviced apartments, retail and entertainment facilities.
Celebrate at Holiday Inn Townsville
To celebrate Holiday Inn’s 60th anniversary this year, Holiday Inn Townsville has created a Stay and Celebrate 60 package, including overnight accommodation in a superior king room with buffet breakfast
Raffles Cambodia upgrade
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor’s in Siem Reap, Cambodia recently completed refurbishment and upgrading of two private two-bedroom villas, which both include large drawing rooms and dining areas, butler’s kitchens, wine cellars and private terraces with sundeck chairs, day beds and private access to the largest swimming pool in Cambodia. All three rooms are decorated with original Angkorian artefacts, antique furniture, Persian-style carpets and wooden floors. Additional villa services include a complimentary Apple Macbook for use during stay with complimentary high speed internet, fully stocked bar and pantry, espresso machine, satellite television, DVD player, in-villa library and the 24-hour Raffles Butlers service.
Tok Tok gets real
Photo Credits || X;
all-time low last year, but a 19 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2012 is offering hope of better things to come. Visitation to the outer islands, however, is still minimal, which is why, says VTO general manager Linda Kalpoi, the Kiwi group were offered the chance to see both islands. “We had the Kiwi wholesalers do both Tanna and Santo this year because New Zealand numbers to these islands aren’t as strong as other markets like Australia and New Caledonia. The outer islands are still relatively new to Kiwis, but after Tok Tok I think we will begin to see interest from those who want a more authentic experience.”
Part of the group of Kiwi wholesalers stand in front of the mighty Mt Yasur before getting up close and personal with the active volcano. From left: Richard Elliot, Air Vanuatu; Kirstin Hansby, Our Pacific; Bridget Fogarty, House of Travel; Gareth Waddington, Go Holidays; Alyssa Field, JTG Travel Service; and Jacquie Carson, Vanuatu Tourism Office
Keeping in focus with the promotion of Vanuatu’s outer islands, eight Kiwi wholesalers were treated to an actionpacked adventure during the recent Tok Tok mega famil, experiencing what the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) has coined the real Vanuatu. The New Zealand group were given the exclusive opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of both Tanna and Espiritu Santo as part of an all new format, which this year moved away from booth-style meetings as a way of getting delegates out and seeing the product for themselves. The group also had the chance to make appointments over two afternoons during a ‘meet and greet’ at The Holiday Inn Vanuatu. Representatives from Travelocity, Go Holidays, House of Travel, Our Pacific, Mondo Travel, Flight Centre, JTG and Hotelbeds.com formed part of a group of around 60 buyers who hailed from Australia, the United States, China, Fiji, New Caledonia and Europe. VTO New Zealand marketing manager Jacquie Carson says the idea of the mega famil was to get wholesalers beyond the gateway to experience the product. “It was the first time most of the wholesalers have had the opportunity to visit Tanna and Santo, and it was great because they experienced the best of what both islands had to offer,” says Carson. “The feedback has been very positive and we will definitely be seeing the results of their visit soon.” Kiwi visitation to Vanuatu hit an
Continued on page 6 5
NF goes further Air Vanuatu (NF) has announced expansion plans for 2013, with additional aircraft being sought to service the outer islands and regional routes. “We are committed to increasing flights to the outer islands and are looking at basing an aircraft in Santo to service the northern region,” says CEO Joseph Laloyer. “We’re also hoping that with planned infrastructure improvements at some outer island airports we may be able to get larger aircraft, such as an ATR to eventually service the islands of Pentecost, Ambae and Malekula.” Tanna update Tanna is in the process of some major development, with electricity already extended from Tanna Airport through to White Grass Ocean Resort and Tanna Evergreen Resort. Improvements in the main road has made parts the island more accessible to travellers, and resorts are raising the bar with renovations and extensive tour offerings. White Grass Ocean Resort is planning to rebuild its jetty after its original concrete walkway was torn apart by a cyclone earlier in the year. The new metal walkway is being 6
produced in China and will be in place by January 2013. Construction of a rock pool is underway at Tanna Evergreen Resort and further plans for renovations of rooms and a coconut crab sanctuary are on the cards for 2013. The rock pool will be a mix of fresh and salt water, created as a way for guests to swim and snorkel out to the turtles. Go Holidays product manager Gareth Waddington tested out a new quad bike tour at Tanna Lodge during Tok Tok. “The quad biking was great fun,” he said. “It’s something different for Tanna and it’s a welcome addition to the product range. The range of activites that are available on the island now is amazing.” The average length of stay on Tanna has moved from one night to three in the past two years. “The average length of stay is gradually increasing as there becomes more and more to do on Tanna,” said Carson. Besides visiting Mt Yasur to watch the explosive volcano and also flying over the volcano courtesy of Unity Airlines, Tok Tok guests were given the choice of a range of different activities including the Blue Cave tour, Black Magic and the quad biking experience.
Go Holidays product manager Gareth Waddington on a Tanna Lodge quad bike tour
Richard Elliot, Air Vanuatu; Bridget Fogarty, House of Travel; and Natalie von Dincklage, hotelbeds
Aore Resort’s new spa
Jacquie Carson, VTO, and Natalie von Dincklage, hotelbeds
Greg Verhoeven from Mount Hope Adventures
The new Nasama Resort, Pango, Efate
Matevulu blue hole, Espiritu Santo
Continued on page 8
FREE Meals..FREE Drinks..FREE Headsets..23kg Baggage allowance..
Every Passenger, Every Flight
Air Vanuatu - The ONLY airline providing business class seats between Auckland and Port Vila. The ONLY airline offering convenient middle day arrivals and departures at Auckland every Wednesday and Saturday plus limited seats on a Sunday ensuring connections to and from all NZ domestic airports. 7% commission on all ticket sales! plus special add-on fares to Santo and Tanna for Air Vanuatu passengers. Agents and companion discount fares available, just ask! We know our place better than anyone!
Warwick Le Lagon’s Farea Pacifik conference centre
EspiritU Santo The group inspected a selection of resorts in Santo including Ratua Private Island, Aore Resort, Oyster Island Resort and Bokissa Island Resort. Since direct flights from Brisbane to Santo took off around four years ago, Aore Resort has been busy renovating to cater for the influx of high-end visitors. They recently built a new day spa due to open at the end of October this year. The resort has also renovated its wharf and pool area, and upgraded its bungalows with new roofing. During their stay in Santo, wholesalers were also given the option of experiencing the Mount Hope Adventures waterfall tour, where guests can go canyoning and climb the famous Mount Hope waterfall. Mount Hope Adventures manager Greg Verhoeven says the company plans to include a new mountain biking tour late next year.
Port Vila development Port Vila is anxiously awaiting sign off for an overhaul of its harbourside infrastructure to cater for its increasing number of cruise tourists. “It is expected the government and New Zealand Aid will sign off on a seafront facelift from Chantilly’s right through to the wharf, creating more areas for tourists to walk, which will be great for making the town area more accessible to cruise ship visitors,” says Vanuatu Tourism Board chairman Charles Lini. Vanuatu Department of Tourism senior product development officer Adela Issachar says the project is in its final stage of the design process and should be implemented by 2013. “This project was developed by the Department of Tourism as part of its role in improving the image of Port Vila,” says Issachar. “The key focus for the project is on improving the Port Vila main wharf as the area is always a disaster with public transport and market queuing on cruise ship days.” She said the reason for the delay on sign off is due to another project, named the Port Vila Urban Infrastructure Project and funded by Ausaid, which will compliment the New Zealand project by improving roads and pavements. Other plans under the New Zealand Aid infrastructure project include the re-design of the market building where Nambawan Cafe is situated to provide better visibility and accessibility for visitors and improving Fatumaru Park’s infrastructure and walkways. Refurb success for Holiday Inn Holiday Inn Vanuatu is enjoying high occupancy following it’s A$12m, 15-month refurbishment of the former Le Meriden. The rooms, pool and kids’ area, restaurant and overwater villas were all renovated and general manager Thomas Tait says they now have the numbers to benefit from the improvements. “This is the best season the resort has ever had,” says Tait. “2006 was the last time it enjoyed good occupancy so this is encouraging.” Warwick Le Lagon goes large The largest conference centre in Vanuatu was officially opened earlier this year, providing space for more than 1000 guests in a theatre-style layout. Warwick Le Lagon’s new Farea Pacifik conference centre also includes a kitchen and catering facilities, air con, data points, audio-visual systems and an al-fresco area.
Iririki tidies up Iririki Island Resort has major plans to renovate all of its overwater fales by March next year. Two have already been completed and plans for an overhaul of the honeymoon suite to include a plunge pool is also on the cards. The bar area will undergo a mini-makeover to be completed by February, 2013. 8
NF back to black Air Vanuatu (NF) has returned to profit for the first time in years, posting a VT28 million profit. NF’s Board of Directors chairman Simeon Athy says the airline’s return to the black is welcome news after years of mismanagement, poor decisions and interference. “The turnaround in NF’s finances has meant the national carrier is now in a position to expand services and increase its domestic fleet,” says Athy. “Under the leadership of CEO Joseph Laloyer, we implemented a strict policy not to allow the national carrier to operate as a free for all. We reduced overheads without cutting back on our service, put tighter controls on recruitment,
especially political appointees and overpaid expatriates, and made some smart marketing and scheduling decisions. The hard work is paying off.” According to audited financial reports, NF lost VT1.2 billion in 2008, before slowly edging its way out of debt over the last four years. When Laloyer took over the reigns at NF, he recalls the national carrier was in a dire financial situation. “Some decisions had been made that, in hindsight, were not in the best interests of the company,” says Laloyer. “We were stuck with unaffordable aircraft leases and huge debt, pre-committed legally binding deeds, loss incurring routes
and, most unfortunately, there was a culture within the company of take, take, take.” Athy says NF’s passenger numbers have also steadily increased in the last four years. “We carried just over 253,000 passengers in 2008. This year we’re on target to exceed that by nearly 100,000.” From January to July this year, the national carrier uplifted 172,218. “Given the busiest part of the year for us is the second half, we expect to carry more than 300,000 passengers this year,” says Athy. “We intend to keep reinvesting in the airline by continuing our marketing strategy and taking it to the foreign carriers.”
Whether it’s a romantic escape or a fun family holiday, the new Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu will impress you. 60 acres of tropical palms, private beach frontage, kids club, swimming pools, daily activities, watersports, plus secluded quiet zones and a day spa await you. Call +678 22040 or visit www.holidayinnresorts.com
Plus kids stay, eat and play free. (conditions apply)
Quest for the best
Specialist corporate long-stay accommodation provider Quest Serviced Apartment Group is overhauling its Kiwi properties, from introducing new, purpose-built properties, to refurbishing others. New Zealand chief executive officer Stephen Mansfield talks to Traveltrade about the recent changes, plans for the future and what it takes to become a successful franchisee.
How many properties sit under the Quest brand within New Zealand? We currently have 30 with four more to open between now and mid 2013. We also have one operation in Suva, Fiji and are currently looking at finalising arrangements for Quest in Nadi. We are focussing on establishing new growth in Nelson, Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington.
Who are your main clients?
Our main clients are corporate, both large businesses and small to mediumsize enterprises, as well as many government agencies and departments. They are customers who require serviced apartment accommodation in locations they need to be.
Tell us about the recent changes Quest has undergone in the past 12 months.
The first one was to ensure we continued investment in dollar terms despite the challenging financial climate that prevails within New Zealand. The second was to remove the notion that “we just have to wait for the upswing in the economy”. The reality is that this is the new norm. It’s about how to achieve/optimise business performance in this environment.
What was the reasoning behind the de-branding of some properties recently?
We earmarked four of our operations for de-branding and two of these have already been completed. Buildings and locations that had market relevance may over time diminish in relevance. The four properties for that we will de-brand were not purpose built/established Quest operations – they were opportunities via “take over” and so in our view had levels of “compromises” that our brand could no longer sustain. It’s all about meeting the evolving needs and expectations of our guests.
Give us an idea of your perfect franchisee.
They must be a good communicator across all key mediums to effectively engage with our key stakeholders, being guests and landlords. They must be passionate about their Quest business, and maintain the enthusiasm and positive endeavour to apply all of their skills and the Quest business processes on a consistent basis, through the tough and not so tough cycles of business. We tend to find that those franchisees who have shown a track record of developing and keeping strong relationships, ie strong family bonds, tend to be very productive and successful franchisees. They tend to appreciate that to optimise themselves as people and businesses, they need to allow themselves to become part of something bigger than themselves. Many of our new franchisees are under 30 years of age with professional/ university qualifications, and see Quest as a professional brand they wish to be part of and have made the ultimate commitment to be Quest business owners.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to become a Quest franchisee? Be realistic about what business is. Business is tough and it’s very different to being an employee. As a business owner you carry greater risks and potential rewards, and the rewards are not all financial. It’s the satisfaction of achieving where others fail, sustaining where others do not, securing a client relationship ahead of your competitor and backing yourself.
What are Quest New Zealand's plans for the future? The biggest challenges for Quest are to ensure we avoid complacency and maintain our focus on improving the business outcomes of sustainability and growth for our key stakeholders. To deliver financial sustainability and growth requires a commitment in many areas that are non financial. We will continually invest in understanding our client/ market’s requirements in location, product and service standards and the various communication mediums they prefer to use, and always focus on the most efficient and effective means of delivering on the business outcomes of Quest. Specifically, for the near future we need to continue to ensure refurbishment of a number of our existing operations and also establish new growth where Quest is either under-represented or has no representation, including Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. 11
We have changes at a number of levels. First of all we have opened four new operations in the past 12 months: Quest Albany, Quest on Hobson Auckland, Quest Hamilton and Quest Tauranga. We have invested heavily in new IT systems that will allow us to manage the performance of our business far more effectively, and allow far greater engagement with our clients and other key stakeholders. We have also created three new roles within our organisation that once again will allow us to support our client and franchisee relations. Within the network itself many of our franchises have continued to go through reinvestment in product upgrades/refurbishment, as well as an investment in up-skilling to be able to utilise the new IT platforms that we have provided.
During the changes, what were the biggest challenges and how did you tackle them?
Sabre connects travel agents Kiwi agents can now connect to their global counterparts through Sabre’s new social community for travel agents. Recently launched in New Zealand, AgentStream is the first global travel agentonly networking community, connecting more than 150 countries. “AgentStream allows agents to tap into the world’s largest travel community,” says Sabre Pacific general manager sales and product New Zealand Carl Frier. “As a member of AgentStream, agents can collaborate with other travel agents around the world, ask questions and obtain useful tips and insights from a global community of agents, helping them provide a better service to their customers.” AgentStream also allows agencies to create private groups to contact and communicate with others within their own group, as well as gain and share insights on suppliers, destinations, properties, extras, activities or restaurants and comment on the trends shaping the industry. “Because travel is changing so quickly, no single person has the answer to every question,” says Frier. “Being able to source the right information, when you need it, is what AgentStream is all about.” While Sabre-connected agents can access AgentStream directly from the Sabre Red Workspace via single sign on, it is also available to all travel agents at www.agentstream.com.
Techno trends APPS
Since the launch of Sabre’s Red App Centre earlier this year, more than 80 third party app providers have applied to become Red App Certified Providers in order to reach the 220,000 travel agents who use the Sabre Red Workspace. The growing list of available B2B apps includes apps that give travellers new services before and during their trip, and help agencies increase productivity, efficiency and revenue. The Red App Centre is the first online marketplace to connect travel buyers, including travel agencies, travel management companies and leisure operators, with application providers from around the world.
intuitive for the traveller.” The new web version of TripCase has been designed as the traveller’s home base, allowing them to manage, track and share upcoming and previous trips. The mobile version of TripCase will be the traveller’s personal, on-theroad travel concierge, helping them navigate unexpected itinerary changes or obstacles arising in transit. TripCase actively monitors any factors that could change or impact a traveller’s trip including weather, flight delays and gate changes and automatically notifies the traveller, and also offers free flight alerts.
Sabre Online recently underwent a visual overhaul which includes changes to the solution’s look and feel, in addition to the launch of the new graphical seat request functionality. The new-look site includes usability enhancements, such as the ability to pre-reserve airline seats via an interactive seat map display. “Customers can now select their airline seat in advance, offering business travellers more control and choice over their booking arrangements,” says Frier.
Around 73 percent of business travellers have a smartphone and more than 50 percent of business travellers use their smartphone to access travel reservation information online, according to a recent PhoCusWright survey of travellers using mobile services. “Around the world, mobile devices have become part of people’s everyday
lives and, as an industry, we have just scratched the surface in leveraging the power, reach and opportunity they represent,” says Frier. “As mobile devices evolve, we will continue to develop new services and make them available through the TripCase web and mobile platform.” This year, TripCase has seen major advancements including the already launched integration into the Sabre GDS, and the release of an agency messaging portal to cater for advanced travel disruption management, and now a sleek new layout. TripCase provides corporations, agencies, and suppliers with relevant messages which are delivered to the traveller at the right point in their trips. “The growth in smartphone usage in the South Pacific and the expanding capabilities of TripCase have enabled Sabre-connected agencies to tap into upsell opportunities, extend their service via mobile and differentiate themselves from their competitors,” says Frier. “The new look and feel dramatically improves the experience of using TripCase and lays the foundation for us to develop new innovative features that are even more
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Expedia’s TAAP gains The number of agents regularly booking through Expedia’s Travel Agent Affiliate Programme (TAAP) continues to rise. Expedia TAAP manager Stuart Udy says three out of four times an Expedia TAAP member visits the Expedia. co.nz website, they make a booking. “We have an amazing amount of data that we scrutinise on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” says Udy. “It’s very rewarding to see the bookings come through but also the level of engagement from the agents. It paints a story of people trying the programme, seeing it work, then starting to explore the product further.” Expedia TAAP has seen two record weeks in turnover recently, bolstered by Expedia’s current global sale rates which ran until the end of August. “We are very pleased with the current rate of transactional growth but we are even more pleased with the positive feedback we get from our members,” says Udy. “Expedia provides an end-to-end service. We have locally based staff responsible for every destination and we aren’t hashing up someone else’s product with a faceless technical interface.” Expedia TAAP agents have booked more than 2100 different destinations since the programme began.
Contiki shouts out
JOIN TODAY AT
WWW.EXPEDIA.CO.NZ/TRAVELAGENTS TELEPHONE September 2012
0800 623 4293 EMAIL
Contiki Holidays recently launched new iPhone app Shout as a way for passengers to connect with each other prior to, during and after their trip. Shout is the latest in a string of digital platforms that Contiki has introduced in the past few months, preceded by The Exchange and MeetUps, both based on a 400 per cent spike in iPhone traffic on the brand’s site since January 2011. Pre-departure, guests can download the app and set up a profile to connect with other travellers through an extension of Contiki’s MeetUps tool. Whilst on the trip, passengers can upload photos, videos and messages to share with their fellow travellers, as well as post to their individual Facebook and Twitter accounts. They can also add photos and videos when offline, which will be automatically uploaded once in a WiFi area and stamped with the original date and time. Once the trip comes to an end, the app can still be accessed and used as an archive. Also included are the relevant Contiki itineraries, and the app’s travel tools convert currencies, translate languages, check the weather and refer to city maps. Contiki has also teamed up with Lonely Planet to provide app users with the Nearby feature – tips on local hotspots, including restaurants, attractions and bars, plus detailed city information. ➦ www.contiki.com/iphone
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Sabre Pacific wins Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation Award Sabre Pacific was honoured to be awarded the Best Travel Agent Technology Innovation Award at the recent NZTIA in Auckland. Sabre® won for the
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Technology on the hoof Four New Zealand business leaders share how they stay connected and on top of their game while on the move. Corporates are back travelling more than ever, so it’s not surprising that technology improves daily to keep them connected and up-to-date wherever and whenever they need it. On our panel of gadget users is Kea New Zealand global CEO Sue Watson, EUROAsia director Kenneth Leong, EDANZ chief executive Samantha Heath, and Refining NZ CEO Ken Rivers.
When you’re away from the office, what types of technology do you use to keep in touch? Sue: I am very attached to my iPhone 4 and use it to keep in touch and stay upto-date. Our organisation is global so I have people contacting me at all times over a 24-hour period. I learned fast to turn off the audio notification of emails so it doesn’t ping all night. 16
Kenneth: I use an iPhone and iPad to access documents on our office server hosted on Amazon. Skype is handy for talking and the front camera on the iPhone is a game-changer. The Bria app on iPhone is linked to the office for seamless local calls when I am on the road in Asia. No one needs to know that you’re not in town. Samantha: I generally rely on my iPhone 3GS for most things, however I have recently started using an iPad. If I know I will need to do more work I take my laptop. Ken: I take a Blackberry and an iPad 2. How did you come to select these particular technologies? Sue: Reviewing social media on my iPhone is a good use of time when
I’m in transit. I find the Facebook and Twitter apps user-friendly and I like the camera function quality. I also want to know that wherever I am I can stay connected to the Kea community through our membership network on the www.keanewzealand.com website via email, a phone call, text or social media. With the iPhone 4 I feel as if I have the community in the palm of my hand. Kenneth: Trial and error. A lot of online research. Samantha: When I got my iPhone two years ago there were not as many smartphones on the market so the choice was between Blackberry and iPhone. While previously I had an older model Blackberry, I found emails were not as easy to read, especially those with attachments. When looking
for a new phone I targeted those that were going to give me the best email functionality, as well as phone capability. The large screen on the iPhone suited this purpose. For trips that require more processing power I use my laptop. The iPad was to enable me to be more efficient with meeting notes and eliminate the need to take a laptop on day trips when I don’t need to access files.
I’m a reluctant and slow adopter of new technologies and applications.
Ken: The Blackberry gives me the mobile phone that I need, as well as the ability to scan email traffic at the same time. The iPad lets me look at documents/attachments (my eyesight is not good enough for the Blackberry) and is particularly useful for prereading documents. I also use it to read while I’m on the road.
Samantha: The downside, in particular with the iPhone 3, is the limited battery life. The main limitation with the iPad is that you are unable to make changes to email attachments so I need to have my laptop. The downside to having so many apps available is making the decision on what is useful and will really make life easier versus downloading apps that really add nothing to your productivity.
What do you like most about them? Sue: I find it hugely reassuring to know that I can be reached wherever I am and that I can stay connected as events unfold. I also like that my staff and my son know more about mobile technologies than me so I am always being challenged to learn new applications. Kenneth: The ability to work seamlessly when I’m offshore is a critical consideration in deciding which systems to employ. Samantha: The iPad is a great size and it can slip into my handbag – not so great for guys perhaps. Both the iPhone and iPad sync easily with my email accounts. There are an amazing number of apps to help make these devices more usable and, if you can’t find something you need now, wait a week and it will probably appear. Ken: Blackberry is great because of the instant access to email without having to set up internet connectivity. The iPad makes reading documents on the go easy, unlike on a laptop, which doesn’t feel natural or comfortable.
Kenneth: The myriad of apps and tools do not always talk to one another very well. For example, I can view a calendar invite sent using Outlook on my iPhone, but I can’t accept the invite until I get back to my PC. Saving and editing files via iPhone is not a seamless exercise either.
Ken: Cost prohibits me using the internet on my iPad overseas. While I use Powerpoint and Excel on the iPad, I still find the PC better. It seems to me that Powerpoint presentations often screw up when transferring these to the iPad. In an ideal world, what do you wish you could use and why? Sue: Great voice activation to turn voice into text. I’ve tried the Voice Actions app a couple of times but it was too frustrating. Bring on VA that can understand the Kiwi accent and vernacular.
Kenneth: An iPad which is a true desktop replacement. Documents and spreadsheets still do not work well on tablets. I also wonder if we will ever see the day when Microsoft Office and Google docs work on both platforms.
Sue: I’m the biggest limitation to making best use of my iPhone because
Ken: A device that combines a simple mobile phone with an iPad.
What are the frustrations and limitations?
Samantha: We are faced with a growing amount of technology and making decisions about what is best will get harder. Understanding what you need it for and how it can help you be more productive is the first step in getting the right technology.
BA signs new Amadeus solution
Managing demand and travel offers
Amadeus Offers Reasons to smile #3 “All my quotes look professional” New and exclusive to Amadeus, Offers is bringing smiles to the faces of travel consultants all over Australia and New Zealand by halving the time it takes to present trip quotes and convert them into bookings.
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British Airways (BA) has become the first airline to sign for Amadeus’ new Passenger Revenue Accounting solution, which enables real-time revenue monitoring. The new system is designed to help airlines increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and make revenue decisions more quickly and accurately. BA is scheduled to begin using the new solution in early 2014, integrating with the current Amadeus Altéa solution. “The removal of paper documents from the passenger distribution process provides the opportunity to bring revenue accounting closer to the operational functions,” says BA head of finance services Gyorgyi Szantner. “The Amadeus solution will enable us to transform passenger revenue accounting from a ‘back office’ function to a ‘front-end’ activity, providing real time visibility across the airline including our operational colleagues on how well the airline is performing.” Amadeus vice president development Christophe Bousquet commented: “Our passenger revenue accounting system allows for real-time acquisition, reporting and accounting thanks to its integration with airline operational systems. Accuracy and productivity are both increased and essentially, this new Amadeus solution enables airlines to know their revenues as soon as the plane doors close.” Amadeus Passenger Revenue Accounting is available to all airlines wishing to implement a new passenger revenue accounting solution, and can be integrated with the rest of their passenger services applications. ➦ www.amadeus.com.au
TomTom goes live TomTom’s latest device has recently undergone a software update, changing the navigation experience to include interaction with Twitter, Expedia and Trip Advisor. TomTom’s GO LIVE 2050 World comes with maps of over 50 countries across Europe, North America and Asia and offers TomTom’s HD Traffic, delivering navigation and route guidance that continuously adapts to changing road conditions. It enables drivers to constantly keep in touch with what is happening on the road and stay informed about conditions ahead. Now the Live services also give drivers access to Twitter, Expedia and Trip Advisor. Drivers can pick a hotel with availability and price information from Expedia and find the best places to visit using reviews from TripAdvisor. The Twitter functionality features an option to tweet the driver’s destination to their followers with their ETA. The Twitter message is pre-set by the user before they set off, so they can concentrate safely on the road and let people know when they’re going to arrive. The estimated time of arrival will be updated before arrival to give more accuracy.
traveL as a business
Keeping your repeat clients close ■ James Hacon is an international speaker, writer and consultant in marketing for travel and tourism. ➥ www.jameshacon.com Over a week of back-to-back judging for the New Zealand Travel Industry Awards, one theme that really stood out to me is how important email newsletters are becoming to retail travel agents. In many cases the agents and brokers we saw had a lot more success this way than through the traditional mechanisms of newspaper and radio. Here are a few recommendations for making the most of your database and existing clients.
Keep it personal
Being a broker or agent, your database and clients have a personal relationship with you. It is this personal relationship that will ensure these people will return. Knowing this it always baffles me when I receive travel newsletters with boring old guidebook-style guides to destinations or even worse, nothing more than offers. Yes, feel free to pop in an offer or even mention destinations – perhaps one of your other clients has recently stayed or it’s a holiday spot that you’ve always wanted to go – but make sure you add a personal twist. I assure
you by giving a little bit of yourself it will keep your readers engaged and help them build an even closer relationship with their favourite travel advisor.
I’ve got seconds not hours
The other bee in my bonnet is being sent email updates with a novel’s worth of words. Look at one key story with an additional two or three side stories. My number one tip would be to use your newsletter to begin a story with the personal aspect up front and encourage people to ‘read more’ on your blog or website. This way your subscribers can read what they want to read rather than trawl through a whole newsletter to find what they are looking for. The additional benefit is that you’ll be able to track what your readers are interested in by the click-through rate on each story.
Be sure that your design has visual impact and very clearly stands out as your brand. Saying this, it’s important that you use images that are relevant to each story. Images that have personal
significance rather than one found online will always deliver a more personal story. If there is one thing that works on email newsletters its video. Some studies show that more than 80 per cent of consumers will click the little play button when they see it. When it comes to video, think outside the box – you can use your own promotional videos or customer testimonials as well as the effective videos produced by your suppliers and partners.
Grow your subscriptions
It might seem obvious, but when you get a new client be sure to send them your sign-up form to receive your newsletters. A few effective ways that I’ve seen agents and brokers increase their subscribers is to share the link on social media, personally ask people to sign-up, run competitions and asking existing subscribers to forward to their friends and recommend they sign up too. In conclusion, be consistent with your timing for sending out newsletters, be concise and be personal.
travel as a business
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Keith Summer MD Gilpin Travel
“I have been using the services of Paul at Travel Accounting for over 12 years. Paul and his team are always professional and approachable and provide sound advice which has been invaluable over this time. Over the years I have called on Paul to assist me with many areas of my business from Agency Accounts, Accounting Systems, TAANZ Bonding, Business Structure. As we have grown Travel Accounting has been instrumental in getting our business operating more efficiently due to their specialised knowledge of the Travel Industry. In fact sometimes I regard them more as mentors than accountants. I have no hesitation in recommending the services of Paul and the Team at Travel Accounting and appreciate the advice we have received over the years.”
Trish Ryder Director Manly United Travel
In the inaugural year of the New Zealand Travel Industry Awards, Travel Accounting had nine clients receive an award. You might ask yourself how these travel businesses managed to get to the top of their game? What makes them different from the average travel business? Here’s a few reasons: • • • • • • • •
39 Maungawhau Road, Epsom Auckland 1023
PO Box 109515, Newmarket Auckland 1149 Tel: 09 524 6178 Fax: 09 524 6179 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• • •
The owners and staff are passionate about being in the travel industry. They love the business, the travel and the opportunity to provide their clients with their services. They value their own time, skills and experience and expect to be adequately rewarded for this. They have spent many years training to offer the advice that their clients receive. They value this and so do their clients. They are innovative and have developed their own travel products and services. Their skills may be specialised, their tours may be escorted and the product that they sell is not easily available from the internet or wholesalers. They are in control of their financial position. They prepare annual budgets, staff targets and compare those with timely monthly accounts that enable them to be careful with their expenditure and put in place a financial plan to achieve their financial goals. They seek expert assistance in the things they are not good at. They recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and use good professional advisors. Their staff carries the same philosophy through to the customer and is well rewarded for achieving results. Regular training and constant communication is part of their everyday job.
These businesses have succeeded in a difficult business in a declining market. They have beaten the odds and risen to the top of their industry.
Travelling alone can provide the ultimate sense of freedom, but traditionally this type of traveller hasn’t been well catered to. “Travelling as a single provides endless possibilities that you would not necessarily have as a family travelling together or a group of friends,” says House of Travel representative Yvonne Lim. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t cater specifically for the single traveller market, unlike markets like the UK and Europe. But there are ways for solo travellers to get around affordably and sociably. Here, Lim gives us the low down on how to travel solo.
How can solo travellers save money?
Can you recommend some good tour companies/packages for solo travellers?
• Trafalgar Tours have a guaranteed room share with same gender. Contiki general manager Tony Laskey says more than half of its 18-35s travellers go it alone, which means they are guaranteed to link up with other adventurous travel mates. “We don’t charge single supplements for solo travellers – we’ll match you up with a same sex room-mate,” he says. “For those that don’t want to go with that option, for a little extra they can opt for the privacy of their own room on Contiki Time Out tours or their own tent on camping tours.” • Contiki and Top Deck have tours that directly target younger people. The atmosphere is very social and it is a great way to meet other people.
• If the concept of small group touring appeals, Peregrine is a good three-and-half to four-star touring company attracting the more mature market. Their sister brand, Geckos, caters for the younger traveller. • Another great all-round company is G Adventures if clients are looking at doing a cycling or walking trip, or climbing a mountain. G Adventures don’t charge single supplement (ie surcharge). They will automatically put clients into a room with another person of the same sex. • For older travellers fully escorted tours and cruises are a great way of meeting people and offering peace of mind through the itinerary. Some tours even escort groups right from the airport for maximum convenience. • For those looking for something close to home, a Samoan beach fale holiday is worth a mention – these are traditional thatched open-sided fales usually in five-star locations. Dining is usually communal so a great opportunity to meet likeminded people. • Beachcomber Island Resort in Fiji is for the young and young at heart. It is the party island of the South Pacific. Many single travellers head here during our winter. Accommodation is in shared dormitories and the rate includes all meals – hearty buffet-style. • For the more adventurous, the likes of Awesome Adventures Fiji can get clients off the beaten track to have a real experience – ideal if they are prepared to leave the comforts of home at home and immerse themselves into the true local culture and lifestyle. These are types of holidays where travellers only need to pack their toothbrush and a sense of adventure, where they will be exchanging the usual resort experience for the comfortable but more modest facilities of local-style accommodation. Instead of enjoying cocktails with other tourists they’re more likely to be sharing a bowl of kava with friendly locals in a quiet off-the-beaten-track village. Accommodation is normally basic and usually based around shared facilities. 21
• Joining tours are a great way to travel in the safety of a group whilst experiencing a new destination. The tours will usually provide the option of travelling as a single which can be more expensive. Some tour operators will give clients the option of sharing and pair them with other solo travellers, which can make it more affordable. • When joining tours or booking accommodation be clear about whether clients are asking to travel as a single, or booking a double room for sole use. Often through Europe, a single room can mean a much smaller room (eg a bus driver’s room), though it will be a
cheaper option. • Cruising is also a great way of meeting new people. If clients are interested in sharing and the cruise or tour company doesn’t have an option for pairing with other travellers, it always pays to use your networks and see if anyone else is interested in rooming. • To save money, it always pays to book early (ie before leaving New Zealand) to secure the best fares on trains, Eurostar, airline tickets and accommodation.
travel for singles
featurefor singles travel
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Photo Credits || Snehitdesign/dreamstime.com
Surfers on the North Shore of Oahu
While clients may be tempted to stay at home during our summer months of November to March, a holiday in Hawaii will be rewarded with a host of seasonal spectacles and events.
The Pacific Humpback whales begin returning from the north to the warm Hawaiian waters in December. Their quantity and active displays make for entertaining viewing either from organised boat tours or from coastal vantage points.
Shop til you drop
With the strong New Zealand dollar, Hawaii has become a shopping treasure trove. From international brands to local arts and crafts, most Kiwis are surprised at both the choice as well as the bargains on offer. Thanksgiving Day specials begin late November and provide a perfect opportunity to bring home Christmas gifts for friends, family – and oneself. The Ala Moana shopping centre and Waikele Outlet stores are a must for retail therapy.
The big waves
setting with white sandy beaches and the historical town of Haleiwa.
There are a number of big name sporting events taking place in Hawaii over December and January including the Honolulu Marathon, two PGA Golf events and the American Football NFL Pro-Bowl, which sees the sport’s greats playing off at the Aloha Stadium.
What’s on in Hawaii KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL
The annual Kona coffee harvest and 180-coffee heritage is celebrated every November at this festival. Events such as tastings, art exhibits, a cupping competition, farm tours and parades, can be enjoyed while recognising the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans. ➦ www.konacoffeefest.com TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING
November 12 – December 20
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to the North Shore of Oahu for the men's series and women's Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach. Kicking off with the Op Pro at Haleiwa, the series continues with the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing and women's Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach, and lastly the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the Banzai Pipeline. ➦ www.triplecrownofsurfing.com XTERRA TRAIL RUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The XTERRA Trail Running World
Waikiki Beach Walk shopping complex
Championship is an off-road halfmarathon held on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The event will also host 5km and 10km trail runs, a free OC 16 Kids K race, an adventure walk, food and scenery. ➦ www.xterratrailrun.com 40TH ANNUAL HONOLULU MARATHON
The Honolulu Marathon's scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters. The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ➦ www.honolulumarathon.org/ NFL PRO-BOWL
January 27, 2013
The NFL is back in Hawaii for the 2013 Pro Bowl. The annual contest of the AFC and NFC's best will take place at Aloha Stadium.
The Pacific swells also arrive about this time. While the sheltered bays on each of the islands still provide for safe swimming, the northern coastal beaches offer surfing and windsurfing. In particular, the Triple Crown of Surfing competition is held on Oahu’s North Shore beaches – Waimea, Sunset Beach and the Pipeline. For anyone staying in Waikiki, a visit to the North Shore (at any time of the year) is a must. An hour-anda-half’s drive by car (or a US$2.50 bus ride) takes you to a laid back Hawaiian
Hawaii sizzles all year round
Tok Tok lights up Tok Tok Vanuatu went out with a bang at The Holiday Inn in Port Vila. Vanuatu Tourism
Office presented an impressive
fireworks display and traditional dance show to wholesalers.
1: Felicity Simpson, Qantas Holidays; Bridget Fogarty, House of Travel; Jacquie Carson, Vanuatu Tourism Office; and Michelle Clements, Mangoes/The Terraces 2: Natalie von Dincklage, Hotelbeds; Kirstin Hansby, Our Pacific; and Crystal Colahan, InterContinental Hotels Group 3: Mike Geary, House of Travel, and Sydney Grace, Vanuatu Holiday Hotel 4: Richard Elliot, Air Vanuatu; Linda Kalpoi, VTO; and Phillip Malas, Evergreen Limited 5: Frederick and Victoria Maclean, The Havannah 6: Joseph Laloyer, CEO Air Vanuatu, and Malcolm Pryor, Air Vanuatu Australia 7: Peter Rotteveel, Poppyâ€™s on the Lagoon, and Merian Numake, Tanna Evergreen Resort
8: Thomas Tait, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu; Melissa Bramley, Flight Centre; David Callan, Wotif; and Mandy Veale, Mondo Travel 9: The Vanuatu Tourism Office team
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Discover Paradise... ...The Aranui Way
Excursions & Activities include: • Visiting local Marquesan villages and handicraft centres • Archaeological and cultural sites, tikis, churches, all with on site lecturers • Enjoying traditional dance shows, 4WD, hiking and sightseeing tours • Restaurants, picnics & BBQs on white sandy beaches • Visiting Paul Gauguin & Jacques Brel Museum (entrance fee not included) • Local multi-lingual tour guides (English, French and German) • Fantastic 14-day cruise, which includes 3 meals/day • A doctor is also available during all excursions + onboard travel
Optional activities not included: • Horseback riding • Trawling and Deep sea ﬁshing • Scuba diving
Cruise in the comfort of the unique Tahitian passengerfreighter, Aranui 3
hen you step onboard the Aranui 3 you know you have embarked on a very different cruise holiday. This unique 2003 built passenger-freighter caters for 200 passengers and comes complete with a lounge, bars, conference room, swimming pool, ﬁshing platform, boutique and accommodation which ranges from spacious Suites with a balcony to Deluxe and Standard ‘A’ cabins, each with ocean views. Experience a 14 day adventure discovering the most remote islands of the Marquesas archipelagos located 1,500 kms North-East of Tahiti. You will take part in delivering essential goods as well as cars and building materials to 16 local villages. In addition to this vital role, Aranui Cruises offers a soft adventure holiday with a real cultural discovery element, allowing passengers to absorb some of the world’s most remarkable scenery on ancient volcanic islands fringed with black sandy beaches.
For pricing and packages please contact your local travel agent.
Email: Laurent@aranuicruises.com.au Bookings: email@example.com | Phone: (+61) 3 9449 3778 www.aranuicruises.com.au