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Successful Trade Collaboration With Great Journeys New Zealand, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited And Visit Ruapehu

In conjunction with Great Journeys New Zealand, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Visit Ruapehu, a group of international travel partners spent five days experiencing some of the North Island’s top trade ready attractions.  

The visiting group from Taiwan, Thailand, China, France, Singapore, India, and Brazil travelled to Ruapehu and then to Auckland via the Northern Explorer scenic train journey after attending TRENZ in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington last month – New Zealand’s largest international tourism business event.  

“This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase activities available to agents from around the world, facilitating growth within the regions visited, as well as fostering relationships for years to come. I believe that there is strong motivation for agents to consider Ruapehu, the Northen Explorer and Auckland for alternative tours and routes compared to the well beaten tracks usually traversed by travellers in New Zealand,” shares Rob Heymell, Business Development Manager for Great Journeys New Zealand.  

The Ruapehu segment of the journey included several marae visits, a jetboat trip along the Whanganui River to the Bridge to Nowhere, a rail cart tour with Forgotten World Adventures, visiting Blue Duck Station, Lauren’s Lavender Farm, the National Army Museum, Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park as well as walks in Tongariro National Park and Mt Ruapehu.

Mayor Weston Kirton of Ruapehu District joined the delegates and was thrilled with the strong community and iwi support to welcome the visitors.  

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“It was a wonderful exchange of cultures and connection. A true reciprocity between people and place was evident in the conversations, laughter and the tears shed saying goodbye during this special time for our communities. Creating opportunities to build these relationships are key to attracting mindful travellers to experience outstanding manaakitanga and the abundant beauty of our natural world here – from our sacred mountains to our sacred rivers,” highlights Mayor Weston.  

After an emotional farewell at Ohakune Train Station, the group reboarded the Northern Explorer bound for Auckland where the group stayed at Airedale Boutique Suites, visited the city’s top attractions including Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain Wintergardens, the All Blacks Experience, Weta Workshop Unleashed, attended the America’s Cup Sailing experience with Explore Group and enjoyed fine dining experiences.  

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Visit Ruapehu and Great Journeys New Zealand on this initiative. By creating meaningful and unforgettable experiences in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and across the motu, we strengthen our position as a premier travel destination,” says Karen Thompson-Smith, Head of Tourism at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.  

“Together, we aim to promote an extraordinary North Island experience that shapes travel itineraries for international visitors. These partnerships are essential in showcasing the unique and diverse offerings of our region – and fostering strong relationships within the international travel community,” Thompson-Smith says. 

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