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Tonga Tourism Roadshow in New Zealand a success

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7 September 2011 Tonga's first New Zealand Roadshow in 3 years has concluded with the team making a significant impression on the Kiwi travel industry. The team, consisting of Ministry of Tourism staff, operators from across Tonga and the 2011 Miss Heilala, travelled around New Zealand promoting Tonga to key tourism partners and businesses.

The Roadshow began on Monday 29 August with seminars in Christchurch, Mt Maunganui, Dunedin and Hamilton. Wrapping up the successful week were two large-scale seminars with the first on Wednesday 31 August at the luxury Langham Hotel in Auckland and the second at the North Shore's Spencer on Byron on Thursday 1 September. This is the first time that a Tongan Tourism Roadshow has covered the Hamilton and Mt Maunganui regions as well as Dunedin in the South Island.

"We have had a positive response and are very pleased with the response received from the seminars", says Tourism Advisor, Mr. Paul Davis. "The last New Zealand Roadshow was held 3 years ago and feedback from this trip shows there's not always information on Tonga available to the Travel Trade. We hope this Roadshow has filled some of those knowledge gaps as well as given operators an opportunity to widen their network".

Paul continues by explaining: "It was great timing for the event with preparations in place for the Rubgy World Cup and the opening game against the All Blacks has created a lot of interest on Tonga".

The Ministry's Interim Marketing Plan for 2010 highlighted the need to refocus marketing efforts in New Zealand and Australia. In their approaches for 2011, the Ministry has cancelled participation in travel shows where Tonga would usually be present, choosing instead to redirect strategy at improving the Kingdom's profile in key markets.

Along with the Roadshow, other key efforts include the Joint Venture promotional programs with key wholesalers targeting Tonga and appointing independent marketing agency bcg2, based in Auckland. The agency have developed an exciting new brand for Tonga as well as assisted in marketing projects and the design of Tonga's revamped website.

"We have a long way to go", says Marketing Manager, Sandra Fifita. "But we are adamant that the promotional programs in place will assist us in our efforts to improve our profile in key markets. Competition is very high and we need to be more consistent in our approach. We are looking forward to implementing online promotions to gain wholesaler confidence in Tonga and improve the range of products available for visitors".

The Ministry is pleased with the exceptional support offered by long-standing partner Air New Zealand. As a follow-up to the event, the Ministry is now working closely to develop programs targeting the Travel and Sales Consultants to bring their families to Tonga and experience the Kingdom firsthand.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Tourism, Tonga Visitors Bureau, Nuku'alofa, 2011.
Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2012 15:20 )  

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