The event's sponsors from NZ - Sales Manager Douglas Seifert & Manager, Sales & Marketing Development Chris Allison with host Lea-Ann Goltz, Account Manager for Tourism Australia.
Agents learning from Australian suppliers in 7 min. sessions around the room.
Tara Matilda(foreground)The Travel Group & Susan Gill, Escapes.ca listen to Douglas Siefert
Ming trying out Air New Zealand's Skycouch seating.
Lea-Ann Goltz with Karen Stotz, Trade Marketing Manager in North America for Tourism Tasmania.
85 travel agents and tour operators came together in Vancouver last week to learn that “There Is Nothing Like Australia”.
Hosted by Lea-Ann Goltz, Account Manager for Tourism Australia (which is represented by VoX Canada) and sponsored by Air New Zealand, the intensive 4 hr. program saw agents rotating through 24 travel suppliers who each presented their information in 7 min. - speed-dating style.
The entire continent of Australia was well represented with hoteliers, tour operators, attractions and tourist boards from all states and territories. A promotional video kicked off the afternoon, which prepped us for learning that Australia isn't just a place you see, it's a place you feel. During the break, Air New Zealand made a short presentation which highlighted routings to Australia with connections beyond, and their innovative Skycouch seating in economy class.
I had the privilege to sit through all 24 presentations and I found the information communicated to us to be superb. As I have not visited Australia, the entire program was an eye-opening experience for me. From the Tasmanian Devil "Unzoo" to indigenous tourism, wine tours and whale shark swims, there is way more to Australia than just koalas, kangaroos, Sydney and the Great Barrier reef.
My table mates Tara Matilda from The Travel Group and Susan Gill of Escapes.ca agreed that the program was tremendously informative and have gained a vast amount of knowledge to help recommend Australia to their clients. Although Tara has been to Australia, many of the tours and attractions were new to her and most importantly she now has contacts to a multitude of suppliers she can call upon for guidance. Susan discovered many unique properties and attractions to send her clients to for weddings and honeymoons, which is her area of specialty. She certainly saw the passion for their business in many of these suppliers' eyes, who were so enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge with us.
Although the theme of the 2016 campaign is about aquatic and coastal experiences, Australia clearly goes way beyond the shoreline and has something for everyone throughout the entire continent. It has definitely been added to my travel list, although with so much diversity and such expansive territory, I will need to find 2 to 3 months' time in order to do it justice!
Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has sailed on 37 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is Owner of www.yourcruisecoach.com.