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Rotorua to host Australian Society of Travel Writers

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Rotorua to host Australian Society of Travel Writers

Rotorua has been selected as the first New Zealand city in seven years to host an influential gathering of more than 200 members of Australia’s premier body for travel writing.

The city has scored a major success with the announcement The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) will hold its 2011 Annual General Meeting and conference in the iconic Central North Island location, with support from Tourism New Zealand.

The three-day event, beginning on 29 October 2011 will see Australian travel writers and PR professionals converge on the city for the AGM, Annual Awards Dinner and various travel ‘familiarisations’ of Rotorua through tours and visits to local attractions and activities. A variety of hotel options will be used to accommodate members during their stay.

Rotorua Convention Bureau manager Denise Siviter says the conference is an opportunity for Rotorua to achieve considerable leverage in a key market.

“Australia is a priority focus for Destination Rotorua Tourism Marketing (DRTM), and hosting this event is guaranteed to increase our profile as a destination and entice more people to make the trip across the Tasman,” Ms Siviter said.

“It is also a great chance to promote the direct flights from Sydney, and many delegates will be using the service to attend the conference.

“Society members encompass all genres of travel writing and photography, and all are professionally engaged to produce stories on travel destinations and experiences.

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“Following the Society’s 2009 conference held in Thailand, more than 50 articles were published in leading Australian and international magazines and newspapers, not to mention many more undocumented publications, broadcasts and articles published ‘on air’.

“I am confident with everything that Rotorua has to showcase in terms of activities, attractions and facilities, we can achieve equally as good, if not better, results."

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said hosting the contingent of Australian travel writers only days after the culmination of Rugby World Cup 2011 provided a timely opportunity to gain further media exposure and reinforce the variety of exceptional experiences Australians could have in New Zealand without having to travel too far.

“The focus on tourism in New Zealand during this coming spring will be unprecedented. In addition to The Australian Society of Travel Writers, we will have more than 2,000 of the world’s media attend the largest sporting event happening this year.

“Travel writers and members of the media have a big influence on the decisions that people make when considering where to travel. By hosting a successful ASTW conference, Rotorua and wider New Zealand will benefit greatly."

President of the ASTW Bev Malzard said she was thrilled the conference was heading to Rotorua.

In the year to April 2011, 1.25 million Australians visited New Zealand.

“As a society of travel writers we are pleased to support New Zealand and will do our best to drive tourists to your amazing country,” Ms Malzard said.

“Rotorua is the best example of a perfect tourist town, natural attractions, sophisticated conference facilities and a reputation for outstanding hospitality. To conference there and to have the opportunity to participate in a diversity of familiarisations make for a desirable destination. Bring it on!”


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