The tourism landscape of Hawke's Bay is set to be shared with the world over the next four days as the country's largest international trade event centred around bringing visitors to New Zealand kicks off in Rotorua.
The annual Trenz tourism conference event will see the regional contingent, led by Hawke's Bay Tourism, meet with a wide range of international tourism buyers and media with Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas saying the event, having run for about 30 years, had greatly increased the region's profile.
Hawke's Bay had been represented at Trenz since it began.
The event brings together New Zealand tourism businesses along with buyers from New Zealand's major and emerging visitor markets who come to purchase accommodation, transport and activities at wholesale rates and include them in brochures and itineraries for the forthcoming seasons.
The Hawke's Bay contingent are among 300 leading providers of activities, attractions, visitor accommodation and transport from around the country showcasing their products and services to 270 international travel and tourism buyers from 30 countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, China and Japan.
"It is a huge event and we (Hawke's Bay) really brand up for it," Ms Dundas said, adding that for the first time there would be representation from Wairoa. "We go as a whole Hawke's Bay group - we all share and help each other."
Among the Bay team will be the Napier City Council and the Art Deco Trust, which are joining forces to get the "stay another night" message through to visitors.
Trust and council representatives have 52 appointments with international tourism buyers and media already confirmed.
One of the messages the Art Deco Trust wants to get across is increasing the time of stay. Trust general manager Sally Jackson said there were some other regions within the lower North Island encouraging visitors and tour groups to just stop in Napier for the day, with no need to stay for the night.
"We need to counteract this message with reasons as to why they should stay not just for one night - but for at least two nights."
She said the only way of changing that stance was by being a strong visible product source at events like Trenz.
"The Art Deco Trust sees this marketing avenue as the essential medium to growing the group tour market for Napier," Ms Jackson said. "It is essential that Napier is represented at this event to meet with current and new clients, to consistently push the tourism messages and products found in the area."
Napier City Council marketing manager Rebecca Ainsworth said the council had a strong and vested interest in tourism and flying the flag for the whole region to the rest of the world.
"Napier has so much to offer international visitors - we certainly need to be at trade shows like this to sell our city and our tourism products so we get added to travel itineraries of individuals and groups," she said.
"The fact that Trenz brings key tourism decision-makers from all around the world to one place for dedicated meetings is so valuable - there is just no way we could normally meet this volume of buyers."
Over the four days, attendees will be negotiating business agreements for forthcoming seasons to ensure New Zealand's $9.3 billion export tourism industry continues to grow.