Over 90 travel agents from Germany`s largest travel wholesaler for New Zealand in Central Europe, Dertour, are in New Zealand this week on a jointly hosted Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand familiarisation tour.ÊÊ
The eighteen day tour has been arranged around seven different itineraries -Ê six coach tours and oneÊ campervan tour - eachÊ accompanied by a tour guide.Ê The tours cover the entire country from Northland to Invercargill and across to Stewart Island.
A one day interactive workshop in Auckland has also been arranged for the whole group at which New Zealand`s tourism macro regions and Dertour`s product suppliers will participate alongside Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand.Ê The objective of the workshop is to highlight New Zealand`s shoulder season offerings and the diversity of what is on offer.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says the visit should contribute to continued growth from the German market. “These travel agents have been handpicked by Dertour because they have the highest potential of selling New Zealand,” he said.
“The great thing about these famils is that they give us the opportunity to address issues such as regional diversity and seasonality,” he says. “The tours not only highlight tourism offerings from all around the country, but the agents are being brought here in autumn, and being taken to areas of New Zealand they may not know much about.”
Since November last year there has seen continuous growth of German visitors to New Zealand of 4.2 percent.
Germans spend an average of $4000 during their holiday here excluding flights and on average stay 32 days.
“They are intensive information seekers and look for in-depth knowledge when making their bookings so this type of agent familiarisation is incredibly important for this market,” he says.
Norm Thompson, Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution at Air New Zealand, says that Air New Zealand`s provision of seats for the tour makes it the airline`s biggest investment for the year in the German market.Ê
“Germany has always been a strong source of business for Air New Zealand and the visit is a significant initiative this year to encourage increased growth for the airline in this market.Ê The agents have all been handpicked by Dertour and are some of the greatest supporters in selling New Zealand. By letting them experience our flights and see the country for themselves, our objective is to see an increase in demand for Air New Zealand and Destination New Zealand.”
Dertour`s Product Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Petra Fraatz is also accompanying the agents.Ê She says that New Zealand is perceived as a safe long haul destination by Germans and is gaining more and more importance for her company.Ê “This is a big investment for our company however we expect excellent results from the trip.”