Lake Wanaka Tourism is reporting strong positive feedback from the influential travel trade buyers and media who visited the region during TRENZ, which was recently held in Queenstown.
James Helmore, Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager said hosting TRENZ in the Southern Lakes region had significantly increased awareness of Lake Wanaka as a destination. This was compounded by the opportunity to host over 80 international representatives before and after TRENZ, allowing them to enjoy the Wanaka experience first hand.
“In an increasingly impersonal world, visitors are seeking a more genuine experience and the feedback from the buyers strongly shows that Wanaka is delivering this,” said Helmore. “People are increasingly after an authentic, real, pure experience, which is what Wanaka is all about. So in today's environment visitors want open places, tranquility, something very raw and simple. People are looking for clarity and something bonded to community. Something with meaning.”
Caryn Young, product manager from wholesale travel company, Adventure World, reported that, “It was a great opportunity to experience the amazing product Wanaka has to offer first hand. What really blew me away was the people - the owner operators. They are truly genuine passionate people. I came away from TRENZ bursting with ideas on how we can shape our itineraries to include more Wanaka.”
The important role the region’s operators play was also highlighted by James Helmore who said the success of Lake Wanaka’s results from TRENZ was largely due to the support of the region’s operators who freely gave their time and resources to host the buyers and media.
Mark Orbell of Wanaka’s Ridgeline Adventures said participating in TRENZ was a very valuable exercise. “It was wonderful to see the international travel agents that visited Lake Wanaka embrace the passion of the people here and really understand the value of the experiences available for their clients – a combination of the people, passion and landscape,” he said. “This is Wanaka’s point of difference over other destinations and something which we are fiercely proud of. From an owner-operator’s perspective, TRENZ was an extremely valuable exercise. Whilst it was relatively expensive to attend TRENZ for a small business, the return on investment is huge. It would cost 10 times the conference fee to travel across the world to meet the variety and number of international travel agents who attended TRENZ.”
Helmore went on to say that Lake Wanaka’s growing profile in the international marketplace was well illustrated by the number of industry accolades the resort town has recently received.
Earlier this year National Geographic voted Lake Wanaka as one of the top 25 ski towns in the world, the only New Zealand destination to be included in this prestigious list. In addition, Outside Magazine voted Lake Wanaka the “world’s best new adventure hub” while Lonely Planet rated Lake Wanaka, along with the Southern Lakes region, as one of the world’s top 10 places to visit in 2012.
For further information, visit www.lakewanaka.co.nz.