Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort has been ‘first off the block’ in capitalising on a slow but steady resurgence in the US visitor market.
The multi-award-winning luxury resort, recently named the world’s best golf resort by a prestigious Australian travel magazine, has enjoyed almost 100% occupancy since the start of the year, largely due to high-end incentive market visitors from the States.
Thanks to a strong partnership with IDNZ, New Zealand’s leading destination management company, earlier this year Millbrook enjoyed six week-long ‘waves’ of visitors on incentive trips, all staying at different levels of accommodation.
Yet another incentive group of successful guest services managers from Cadence Design Systems in the US, the world’s leading electronic design company, also chose to come to Millbrook for another week.
They based themselves in the Millbrook Country Club and in recognition of their visit and the industry they work in, Millbrook responded fully in providing state-of-the-art technology to service the clients’ needs.
Gregg Anderson, Tourism New Zealand General Manager for Western Long Haul Markets, said Millbrook’s success story aligned with what TNZ had been seeing.
“The US market has started to show some early signs of recovery, particularly in special interest or specialty areas such as incentives and luxury,” he said.
“Millbrook Resort, with the perfect mix of golf, spa, and luxury all set within the pristine Wakatipu Basin, is ideally positioned to take full advantage of this recovery.”
On the back of its success this summer, Millbrook is already quoting for a similar-sized incentive visit next February that will again book the resort out.
“Millbrook has invested time, energy and resources into this market and we’re definitely reaping the benefits,” said Millbrook Resort General Manager David Onions.
“They absolutely love Millbrook and its surrounds, it’s easy to travel here, easy to book and do a range of world-class activities when they’re here, and they interact very well with the staff.
“As a reward for all their hard work back home in the States, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
Millbrook Marketing Executive Anna Kerslake went last week to Kiwi Link 2011 North America, a series of trade shows where tourism providers from New Zealand educate a targeted audience of US and Canadian travel sellers.
Based in Seattle for five days, she also visited Philadelphia and Toronto and said the investment in the market was clearly worth it.
“Coming off the back of our extremely successful past few months, timing couldn’t be more right to update those travel sellers on what Millbrook offers and how much our recent US visitors have absolutely raved about it.”