Wellington gears up for tourism industry’s biggest event

Two people at the Wellington Zoo on a sunny summer's day.

TRENZ, which opens at Tākina on Wednesday, will host about 1,000 delegates including more than 300 international travel buyers from 25 countries and 313 from New Zealand. More than 15,000 appointments have been scheduled on Thursday and Friday.

This is the first time the event has been held in Wellington and WellingtonNZ chief executive John Allen says when tourism buyers see what the region has to offer, there will be benefits for the local industry for years to come.

“We look forward to showcasing our unique attractions and for participants to experience the special vibe Wellington is known for.”

Buyers and sellers will be negotiating contracts for accommodation, transport and activities for upcoming international holiday seasons, generating millions of dollars for the New Zealand economy.

This year the Wellington region has 23 operators at TRENZ — including nine new experiences — which is the region’s largest-ever contingent at the event.

Among operators offering a new product is East By West Ferries, attending to launch its new harbour cruise aboard the Southern Hemisphere’s first fully electric passenger ferry, offering a zero-emissions tour.

East by West assistant manager Coralie Christian says they are keen to meet buyers face-to-face and share their product with the industry.

“We’re also looking forward to being part of the wider Wellington group in showcasing everything the city has to offer.”

Kaewa Tours’ Tom Collier is returning to TRENZ this year after first attending last year.

“Attending TRENZ has been critical to the future success of my business. Last year, as a first-time seller it was a great opportunity to develop new collaborative relationships, cement old ones and meet high-quality buyers.

“Within six months of attending TRENZ I had reached break-even on my investment with forward bookings from new buyers.”

WellingtonNZ Tourism and Visitor Economy manager Jo Heaton says she is extremely pleased to have such a large and varied representation from the region.

“Our strategy has been to grow the number of trade-ready businesses in the region to enhance the economic benefit to the city and region and create better visibility of things to do and experience.”

TRENZ also includes a large familiarisation programme, giving operators the opportunity to showcase their experiences to buyers. About 45 group visits are planned over four days, showcasing 25 operators.

“Nothing beats a first-hand experience making this programme a huge part of the TRENZ legacy for Wellington.”

New Wellington city and regional tourism operators attending TRENZ for the first time this week include:

  • Wellington Zoo ‘Animals of Aotearoa’ — a new, small group immersive tour designed to foster an appreciation for New Zealand's native species.
  • East by West Ferries — launching new Harbour Cruise on the Southern Hemisphere's first fully-electric passenger ferry, Ika Rere.
  • Ngā Manu — a wildlife reserve on the Kāpiti Coast committed to the preservation and conservation of New Zealand native flora and fauna.
  • Sojourn apartment hotel, properties in Riddiford Street and Ghuznee Street. Last week named Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best.
  • Capital Personalised Tours — high-end personalised tours of the Wellington region and Wairarapa including an overnight package star-gazing with Star Safari.
  • Xplor Tours — city highlights touring plus film and Wairarapa tours and an exclusive home visit to Shenandoah.
  • Te Papa — introducing two exclusive, small group behind-the-scene tours focusing on their botanical and art collections.
  • Fine Art Tours operates in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington, delivering exclusive food and neighbourhood tours.
  • The Big Foody — well established in Auckland and launched last summer the great foody tours of Wellington.
  • Zozo — brewery and foodie tours.
  • Star Safari, Wairarapa.

Date Published: 6 May 2024