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Tourism industry prepares to futureproof its comeback

An event to prepare the New Zealand tourism industry for the return of international visitors has reached capacity with more than 700 tourism operators registered to attend.

TRENZ Hui 2021, a reshaped version of New Zealand’s biggest annual tourism business event, is being held in ≈åtautahi Christchurch on May 5-6.

With most borders still closed and international buyers unable to attend, TRENZ Hui 2021 will focus on generating solutions for the challenges involved in reopening to the world.

The event is managed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and chief executive Chris Roberts says the overwhelming demand from attendees is a clear statement of intention from the industry.

“We’ve been blown away by the positive response to the event and the volume of registrations. It’s fantastic to see that, despite an incredibly tough 13 months, the industry has retained its dedication to providing a world-class visitor experience to visitors.”

With television personality Hilary Barry as MC, the TRENZ Hui programme features a series of high-energy Design Thinking workshops to find solutions to key challenges. Attendees will hear from renowned speakers – including Australian speakers, who can now attend in person.

“We want everyone attending to join in the important conversations and to take away practical ideas that will help their business reconnect with customers from around the world, when the time is right.”

Tourism New Zealand chief executive René de Monchy welcomes the opportunity for industry to connect and generate ideas in preparation for the return of more international markets.

“Tourism must enrich New Zealand, the government and sector are working hard to ensure that the system is set up so that tourism gives back more to our people and home.”

Loren Heaphy, general manager destination and attraction at ChristchurchNZ, says ChristchurchNZ is “delighted to welcome TRENZ Hui to our city, after we were unable to host TRENZ in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“It has been 15 years since Christchurch last hosted TRENZ, and this is an exciting opportunity to showcase our beautiful new city to New Zealand’s most influential travel and tourism professionals.

Loren says TRENZ Hui 2021 will be one of the biggest tourism industry events in the world, and to have it happening soon after the opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble will make it a prime time to showcase the experiences on offer in the city and region.

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is the largest unrestricted travel zone in the world, with Australian visitors worth $275m (YE January 2020) to Christchurch and Canterbury.

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