New Zealand’s profile as a visitor destination is set for a big boost in North America, with the arrival of
around 450 North American travel writers, PR professionals and associates, members of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), to New Zealand for their annual convention which will be held in Wellington this week.
Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the arrival of the travel writers was very welcome.
“In conjunction with Air New Zealand and Positively Wellington Tourism we are determined to give the SATW delegates the best experiences we can, and we look forward to the invaluable exposure they’ll be giving New Zealand when they return home.
“We have worked alongside Regional Tourism Operators to enable the writers to choose from 27 different regional tours so that the Society’s members can experience the diverse range of activities New Zealand has to offer, from diving, sailing or hiking trips to self-drive tours, and food and wine experiences.
“These travel communicators represent an excellent platform for New Zealand to get its messages across to North Americans considering travelling to New Zealand.
“The other exciting aspect is the longevity of the coverage; these travel professionals will be writing and spreading messages about New Zealand well into 2012,” he said.
From Today delegates are arriving in the capital for their five-day convention combining professional development with two days of touring Wellington.
Throughout the week delegates are being hosted on some 60 different half- and full-day tours, with options ranging from biking and running Wellington’s bays to touring The Lord of the Rings locations, a photo shoot at ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience and experiencing Wellington’s fine dining and café culture.
Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks said the convention was perfectly timed for boosting the coolest little capital in the world’s profile in North America and beyond.
“Wellington and New Zealand are very much on the world’s radar courtesy of Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2011, the Rugby World Cup 2011 and filming of The Hobbit. The release of The Hobbit will see that interest peak later next year, particularly in America, so we’re not only telling Wellington’s stories now, we’re setting a platform and establishing relationships on which we can continue to build and leverage in the future.”
Air New Zealand’s vice president – the Americas Roger Poulton said “Many countries compete to host this event each year so it’s a real coup that we’ve been able to secure it for New Zealand.”
“This is a fabulous opportunity to showcase our beautiful country and also our critically-acclaimed new 777-300 aircraft to some of the US’s most influential travel writers, who will then share their experiences through publications read by millions of Americans.”
With a membership of over 1,200, including journalists, photographers, editors, electronic media specialists, and travel industry public relations representatives, the SATW has widespread reach in the North American market.
Delegates include contributors to publications such as National Geographic, LA Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Islands, Forbes, and Insight Guides.
Almost 185,000 visitors arrived in New Zealand from the United States in the year to end of August 2011.