Top News TRENZ gets underway in Christchurch; directs attention to international markets By Rachel AJ Lee / Posted on 9 May, 2023 10:02 After a pandemic-induced hiatus, TRENZ 2023 is back in-person this year, where 1,500 international buyers and New Zealand-based sellers will be able to reconnect and rebuild connections over the next three days (May 9-11, 2023). “With TRENZ to be held in person this year, and a ramping up of our online TRENZConnect online showcase, international buyers will be able to develop and renew relationships with top quality New Aotearoa Zealand tourism operators. We have 40 new sellers and new products to showcase this year,” shared Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s (TIA) chief executive Rebecca Ingram. TRENZ 2023 opens today (photo by Rachel AJ Lee) Held in Ōtautahi Christchurch at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, this also marks the return of New Zealand’s most significant international B2B travel trade event to the compact city after 17 years. This excludes TRENZ HUI 2021 and 2022, where both events then focused on bringing the New Zealand tourism industry together to prepare for the return of international visitors. Post-lockdown, Tourism New Zealand’s trade strategy has shifted back to international markets, as domestic tourism has reached 2019 levels – worth NZ$17.7 billion (US$11.2 billion) – since December 2022. The strategy for the Asian market will focus on encouraging visitation outside of the popular summer season. “We are working closely with local trade partners and media advocates on joint campaigns and content collaborations to promote the off-shoulder autumn season and encourage Asian visitors to come during this time,” she elaborated. Tailored fam trip opportunities for travel agents will also be a “key platform to engage and showcase products to buyers”, noted Ingram. For instance, as part of the If You Seek fam trip, travel agents from countries such as Singapore, India, South Korea and Japan were brought around the North Island to explore Waiheke Island, Maungatautari (Sanctuary Mountain), Redwoods Treewalk, and Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The If You Seek brand campaign, which was launched in August 2022, was Tourism New Zealand’s first global campaign post-lockdown. It recently went live in China. “We’re now focused on embedding the campaign in all international markets and continuing to evolve it with new content,” Ingram added.