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2014 finishing up on a high

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand reached a record 2.84 million in the year to November 2014.

This was 5% higher than the previous period. Compared with the previous year, the biggest annual increases were from Australia (up 2.9% or 35,700), China (up 11.5% or 26,500), and the USA (up 11.2% or 22,000). Germany, India, Singapore and Japan recorded the next-biggest increases. Read more.

All eyes on South America in 2015

Brazil continues to show good annual growth (up 20.7% or 2100 visitors) according to the latest visitor arrivals. Along with other key South American markets, visitor flows from Brazil are likely to grow significantly late next year when Air New Zealand launches its new air service to South America. Brazil is an emerging economy that has been a dynamic driver of outbound tourism in recent years. In 2013, Brazil entered the top ten in terms of global visitor expenditure, on the back of a 13% increase to US$25 billion. Read more.

Source: TIA Newsletter

Water activity safety guidelines released

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Maritime New Zealand has released four new sets of safety guidelines for the following adventure activities:

• Swimming with mammals
• Parasailing operations
• Shark cage diving operations
• High-speed / thrill-ride vessel operations.

The new guidelines complement the Activity Safety Guidelines that have been developed for a range of adventure and outdoor activities. The ASGs have been developed by TIA with support from the public and private sectors. They are intended to help operators develop and implement their safety systems so that they can deliver their activities safely and reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities.

Help keep visiting drivers safe

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

All tourism operators are being asked to play their part in a campaign to improve safety for visiting drivers this summer.

A toolkit of messages and information that accommodation providers can use to help educate their international guests about driver safety is now available. This toolkit captures good practice and provides a wealth of information and access to resources to assist in communicating effectively about driving in New Zealand.

TIA is encouraging other operators and organisations that come into contact with visiting drivers, such as travel wholesalers, visitor information centres, visitor activities and attractions, international education providers and used car dealers, to adapt the guidelines for their own use.

An A4 poster which offers a quick guide to key road safety messages for visiting drivers is also available. Print it and post it in your reception area or add it to your room compendiums.

Click here for more details about the work TIA is doing to improve road safety for visiting drivers.

Safety tags for visiting drivers to go nationwide

Steering wheel tags with simple road safety tips for visiting drivers are to be rolled out nationwide after a successful trial in Queenstown earlier this year, the New Zealand Transport Agency has announced. The steering wheel tags aim to get vital safety information to visitors at the time when they need it most. Rental vehicle operators have already ordered 160,000 of the tags for use over the next few months.


Hamilton is a destination on the rise

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Hamilton has been named in the top 10 South Pacific destinations on the rise by the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor.

The city came in at number 10 on the TripAdvisor list of Travellers’ Choice Awards for Destinations on the Rise and the only other New Zealand destination named on the list being Wanaka in the South Island.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says this is a fantastic accolade for the city and one which residents and visitors have known for a long time – Hamilton is a visitor destination in its own right.

“The other great thing about being recognised is that it is based on reviews and ratings by visitors to our city who have enjoyed our hospitality and attractions.”

“Hamiltonians will be proud that we achieved this success with the jewel in the crown, Hamilton Gardens, continually rated as the number one attraction in Hamilton on TripAdvisor,” added Mayor Hardaker.

This recognition follows closely from Hamilton Gardens receiving the prestigious International Garden of the Year Award in the 2014 Garden Tourism Awards in October.

Other Council-managed facilities like Hamilton Zoo, Taitua Arboretum, Waikato Stadium, Waikato Museum and Waterworld also feature in the top attractions on TripAdvisor.

Top 10 Destinations on the Rise Award winners were selected using an algorithm that measures the year-on-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveller reviews and ratings across the world.

TOP 10

TripAdvisor Top 10 Destinations on the Rise – South Pacific:

1. Tumon, Mariana Islands

2. Noumea, New Caledonia

3. Nadi, Fiji

4. Perth, Australia

5. Darwin, Australia

6. Cairns, Australia

7. Apia, Samoa

8. Hobart, Tasmania

9. Wanaka, New Zealand

10. Hamilton, New Zealand



Julie Hardaker

Hamilton Mayor

Phone: 07 838 6976

Mobile: 021 284 8618

Email: mayor@hcc.govt.nz


Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Hamilton’s Claudelands claimed two major awards at the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) Awards in Dunedin last night.

Claudelands won the Supreme Venue of the Year Award, and Large Venue of the Year category, celebrating venues of 5000 seats or larger.

The awards recognise excellence in the New Zealand entertainment venue industry.

The venue – operated Hamilton City Council’s H3 division – won the Large Venue of the Year Award ahead of other finalists Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena, Wellington’s TSB Arena/Shed 6 and Auckland’s Western Springs.

In winning the Supreme Venue of the Year Award, Claudelands was chosen ahead of category winners Regent Theatre (Medium Venue of the Year) and Q Theatre Auckland (Small Venue of the Year).

Murray Jeffrey, H3’s Director of Business Development and Marketing says the awards are great recognition for Claudelands and the wider region.

“These awards confirm Hamilton’s position as one of New Zealand’s major business and events destinations. The EVANZ Awards recognise the whole team at H3 who promote and deliver on our promise to our customers. Special thanks also go to the managers of Claudelands, Claire Toko and Andy Boulton.”

Mr Jeffrey says: “This level of recognition is something we have been striving for since we first opened the doors to the Claudelands three years ago”.

“During this time we’ve worked extremely hard to prove ourselves as a venue of international quality, across a range of areas including music, sporting and entertainment events, conferences, exhibitions and private functions,” he says.

Hamilton City Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs says the facility and the team operating it are among the city’s foremost assets: “Hamiltonians should be proud to have this great facility in our city.”

Since opening in June 2011 Claudelands has become one of New Zealand’s leading conference and exhibition centres, and entertainment arenas. High-profile arena events held at Claudelands this year have included Bob Dylan, Billy Connolly and Disney On Ice. In 2015, the venue will host performances by Kenny Rogers, Slash, Eddie Izzard and Ricky Martin.



NAME: Murray Jeffrey

DESIGNATION: Director of Business Development and Marketing

TEL (DIRECT): 021 742 322

EMAIL: murray.jeffrey@h3group.co.nz


NAME: Jeff Neems

DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor

TEL (DIRECT): 07 838 6509

MOBILE: 021 818 564

EMAIL: jeff.neems@hcc.govt.nz

Chinese visitors boost spending

Friday, November 21st, 2014

International visitor spend in New Zealand continues to grow, with spend from China now at a record $979 million, up 33% from September last year, according to the latest quarterly International Visitor Survey released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Significant increases were also recorded by visitors from the USA (+33%) and the UK (+23%), however, spending by visitors from Australia dropped 11%.

Read More

Commercial Accommodation Monitor Sept 14

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

The latest Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) Figures for September 2014:

The Hamilton & Waikato region saw a decrease in guest nights of 4.8% for the month of September 2014 compared to September 2013. International guest nights fell 20.0% and domestic guest nights fell 0.9%.

For the year ended September 2014 guest nights rose by 6.2. International guest nights were almost unchanged and domestic guest nights rose 8.2%.

National figures saw an increase of 6.2% month on month with international guest nights increasing 5.5% and domestic guest nights increasing 6.6%.

For more information click here.

Travel to NZ made easier for Indian business visitors

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse say Indian nationals travelling to New Zealand on business will now find it easier and faster to get a visa.

Visitors travelling for recognised business events, like conferences, meetings or exhibitions, will now benefit from faster visa processing times and reduced paperwork requirements.

The new arrangements were formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Mumbai overnight between Immigration New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and six approved travel agents.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, who was at the signing, says New Zealand is a fantastic destination for business travellers, with substantial growth underway in conference facilities in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.

“The Tourism Industry Partnership launched with this MOU will allow the visas of Indian business travellers to be processed in just three days, and reduces the paperwork they need to provide with a letter of support from an approved travel agent replacing the requirement for proof of funds and employment.”

“This agreement sends a clear message that New Zealand welcomes these high value visitors and supports the initiatives to grow the Business Events sector which is one of Tourism New Zealand’s strategic priority areas,” Mr Woodhouse says.

The six approved travel agents have been selected on their ability to attract high value and low risk Business Event visitors to New Zealand.

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says that international tourism is one of our most important industries and is worth around $10 billion a year. However of the 35,000 visits by Indians to New Zealand in the past year, just 500 travelled for business.

“Increasing the number of visitors and migrants from major markets such as India is a key priority to growing the economy,” Mrs Bennett says.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in Indian nationals coming to New Zealand to live, work, sightsee and study, and this agreement will open up opportunities for more business travel and the high returns that come with that.”

“Our Business Events programme aims to see more people, companies, and organisations viewing New Zealand as an attractive location for their meetings and conferences, and this Partnership is a step in the right direction.”

Read full release here

Commercial Accommodation Monitor Aug 14

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The latest Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) Figures for August 2014:

The Hamilton & Waikato region saw a decrease in guest nights of 1.3% for the month of August 2014 compared to August 2013. International guest nights rose 13.2% and domestic guest nights fell 4.4%.

For the year ended August 2014 guest nights rose by 8.71. International guest nights rose 4.5% and domestic guest nights rose 9.3%.

National figures saw an increase of 3.3% month on month with international guest nights increasing 1.0% and domestic guest nights increasing 4.7%.

For more information click here.

Regional Tourism Indicators – Sept 2014

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The latest Regional Tourism Indicators for September 14:

The latest Regional Tourism for September 14 show international expenditure in the region sits at an index of 86, an increase of 8 points on September 2013 and higher than the national average of 73.

Domestic expenditure in the region for September 14 sits at an index of 92, an increase of 5 points on September 2013 and lower than the national average of 106.

Read More

The regional tourism indicators (RTI) measure the change in level of expenditure of both international and domestic travellers in New Zealand by region.

The data is based on electronic card transactions.