Buyers from around the world gathered in Christchurch, New
Zealand, for the annual Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand (TRENZ).
There, the country showcased its best accommodations and tour
For four days international tourism buyers met with local
exhibitors to negotiate and plan future New Zealand tour packages
the exhibitors varied from bungee jumping to balloon rides and
luxury hotels to elaborate tree houses.
Minister of Tourism Damien O’Connor spoke to the international
media about catering to the “interactive traveler” with new
opportunities for unique cultural travel itineraries.
O’Connor also stressed New Zealand Tourism’s continued efforts
to educate the American public regarding New Zealand’s natural
beauty, as well as its proximity to the Western U.S. (a 12½-hour
In addition, O’Connor announced that the popular 100% Pure New
Zealand ad campaign will continue to run on the Travel Channel and
CNN, targeting potential visitors.
On the main convention floor, Air New Zealand, one of the shows
main sponsors, gave visitors a chance to put their feet up in style
on their newly designed “Beach Bach” lounge. The design
incorporates sleek lighting fixtures, wicker furniture and a
reoccurring fern motif. The exhibitors’ set up mimicked the newly
completed Melbourne Airport’s Koru Lounge.
“We want Kiwis to feel at home,” said Chris Meyers, an Air New
Plans were also revealed for similar renovations to take place
at the Air New Zealand lounge at Christchurch to be completed
New exhibitors at TRENZ this year included The Secrets of Bungy,
a behind-the-scenes bungy tour, allowing visitors to explore the
dynamics of the sport without actually having to jump.
KIMPTON PRESERVES AND PROTECTS
As part of its ongoing EarthCare environmental program, Kimpton
Hotels and Restaurants announced the 2006 Parks for People
campaign, a partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL).
Dedicated to nurturing its guests and the environment, Kimpton
is partnering with TPL, the only national nonprofit dedicated to
conserving land for public recreation. The campaign will include
events and outreach in all hotel locations through July.
“Kimpton has always held a strong, eco-friendly outlook at all
levels of the organization, which includes a sense of
responsibility, appreciation and care for the planet,” said Niki
Leondakis, COO of Kimpton hotels. “Our Trust for Public Land
partnership, and Kimpton’s EarthCare initiative as a whole,
demonstrates our unyielding commitment to make a difference for the
environment on a local, national and global level.”
Kimpton’s EarthCare recycling and water-preservation programs
have saved about 347 trees and enough water to fill 681 747
aircrafts. In one year, Kimpton’s efforts to use non-toxic cleaning
solutions and air fresheners kept more than 14 Olympic-sized pools
of toxic waste out of the environment.
As part of the TPL partnership, Kimpton employees and guests
will work together on a variety of environmental community service
events, including organic wine hours with local TPL staff,
eco-friendly fundraising events, percentage-of-sale donations for
green KimptonStyle products and cross-promotional regional charity
Over the two years that Kimpton has partnered with TPL, over
$90,000 has been raised for the organization.
“Parks are vital to livable, lovable cities,” said Will Rogers,
TPL president. “Kimpton Hotel’s commitment to the Parks for People
is about just that quality of life close to home.”
MAJOR MARRIOTT EXPANSION
KB Urban, one of the nation’s premier homebuilders, and AEG, a
leading sports and entertainment presenter, announced an agreement
with Marriott International to open two luxury hotel properties and
private residences at the L.A. Live sports and entertainment
district in downtown Los Angeles.
The complex will include the Marriott Marquis, an 876-room
property; the Ritz-Carlton-Los Angeles, a 124-room boutique hotel;
as well as more than 200 condominiums known as The Residences.
Condo highlights include concierge, valet, housekeeping services,
as well as VIP access to events at Staples Center and the Nokia
Theater. Opening dates for the properties are scheduled for
In an e-mail message, Mile Hi Tours’ president Pam Murdock
informed travel agent customers that the Denver-based wholesaler
has closed its doors after 33 years. The wholesaler started up in
1973 as a Las Vegas specialist and then expanded across the U.S. to
Mexico, the U.K. and Asia.
The e-mail informed customers of Mile Hi’s closing and said that
while the company was focused on customer service and support,
apparently the travel industry had “moved away from service as a
valued selling point, and short-term profit has become more valued
than established trusted relationships.”
Mile Hi found it impossible to compete in the new
“technology-driven, mega-business environment,” the message
The company Web site also notifies customers of Mile Hi’s
closure and lists information and contacts for travelers.
DISNEY’S ‘YEAR OF A MILLION DREAMS’
Dreams come true during Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts
“Year of a Million Dreams,” a first-of-its-kind celebration
beginning Oct. 1.
During the event, Disney will debut new attractions and
entertainment at its resorts, plus new technologies that allow
guests to customize their Disney experience.
Guests will be selected at random through the “Disney Dreams
Giveaway” promotion for a stay at the royal bedchamber inside
Cinderella’s Castle or at a Mickey Mouse Penthouse, both to be
completed by January 2007.
LOS ANGELES TRAVEL GUIDE
The 2006 edition of Los Angeles: The Official Meeting and Travel
Professionals Guide, was designed to capture the city’s diversity,
creativity, history and culture with a 38-page pictorial
The guide offers photos and information on city life, including
fashion, restaurants, attractions and nightlife within Los Angeles’
seven distinct regions. Listings include hotel accommodations for
different budgets along with information on city services and
Ensemble Travel Group recently added five new suppliers to the
Ensemble On Location and Preferred Destination Partners programs.
New members include My Tropic, Escape-Jamaica, United
Travel-Turkey, Wilderness Australia, India Tourism and Tourism
“Thanks to the strong relationships we have with our Ensemble On
Location and destination partners, our members are able to deliver
those ‘bragging-right’ experiences to their clients in a way that
builds customer loyalty and grows their bottom line,” said Jack E.
Mannix, CTC, president and CEO of Ensemble Travel Group.
Ensemble has more than 40 Ensemble On Location suppliers and
seven Preferred Destination Partners.