Jacquie Carson, New Zealand representative with Vanuatu Tourism Office hopes that she will soon not have to be talking about the airport at Port Vila when she does travel agent presentations.
Speaking at a Pacific trade breakfast at North Shore Golf Club in Albany this week, Carson said the airport was ‘pretty much’ complete with its new immigration system, infrastructure and service facilities.
Vanuatu was one of four destinations showcased at the breakfast, which also included Tahiti Tourisme, Cook Islands Tourism and Niue Tourism. More than 40 agents, most, but not all, from the North Shore of Auckland attended.
‘We have seen a need to get out to different areas of the city because it can be difficult for people to come to presentations in central Auckland.
We had 52 RSVPs so it is obviously appreciated by the trade.’ Carson says all four presenters realise that the agents attending had knowledge of their destinations. ‘We are dealing with experienced agents so we are concentrating on what’s new and different.’
The Cook Islands presentation focused, among other things, on Atiu both in its own right and as part of a three-island combination with Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
Cook Islands Holiday Villas, the rise of E-bikes and the popularity of Raro Buggy Tours were also on the radar. Tahiti’s focus was on the accessibility of lesser-known islands, cruise and sailing options, and the need for agents to include excursions in their quotes.
‘Just about everyone does activities in Tahiti and if they book once they get there, you miss the commission,’ says Moana McKeen, of Tahiti Tourisme.
A similar type of message came from Susie Williams, NZ representative Niue Tourism, who says agents should definitely encourage clients to book rental cars before they travel – meaning they will find a car ready for them at the airport on arrival.