The response of international tourism buyers at the annual Trenz trade event towards Hawke's Bay had been "very positive" and the region was well-placed to scoop a fair share of the anticipated $32 billion the industry will generate over the coming year.
"We had a great three days there and had a huge response," Tourism Hawke's Bay general manager Annie Dundas said.
Trenz was staged at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre last week and drew about 350 international tourism buyers who seek out accommodation options, transport and unique activities and sites for visitors they represent in terms of brochures and travel itineraries.
We have to keep pushing and selling ourselves as all the other regions are also pushing.
It is estimated that each of the buyers could generate an average of 4000 visitors each, and it was important for Hawke's Bay to be on destination lists, Ms Dundas said.
One major factor reflected across the Trenz event was the growing potential of the US and Canada markets as with the introduction of two new air services, which include American Airlines, from June/July there would be several thousand additional seats to fill every year.
"There is huge growth in the airline base," Ms Dundas said.
"We have to keep pushing and selling ourselves as all the other regions are also pushing."
She said there was a large contingent of Chinese tourism buyers present and one impression which came through was they were keen to step off the main trunk routes and look for something unique.
With things like Art Deco, the cycle trails, wineries, gannet excursions Hawke's Bay was well placed and the Bay contingent at the event was kept busy with continual inquiries.
"But we have still got a big job to do - we have to keep plugging away."
Ms Dundas said the Bay fitted in well with the 'special interest sector of tourism' through its acclaimed cycle trails networks.
"We promoted that heavily."
Some of the key things which came through at Trenz was regional (tourism) dispersal and seasonal activities.
Ms Dundas said two of the Bay group, Gannet Safaris and Gannet Beach Adventures, had come away with "some really good results".
As had the Art Deco and Napier City Council teams.
Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson echoed what Ms Dundas said.
"It was very positive," she said, adding that the trust collaborated with the Napier City Council in tying events and tourism sites in together.
"To get people to come here and to stay longer here."
She said the trust focused strongly on agencies which had pursued the Art Deco experience in the past and said they, along with new inquiries, augured very well for the tourism future.
Wairoa had been represented for the first time and there was plenty of interest in the Rocket Lab facility and Mahia.
Top range accommodation providers The Farm Cape Kidnappers, Breckenridge Lodge and Mangapapa also had sites at the event.
Ms Dundas said she hoped next year's Trenz, which will be staged in Auckland, would attract sectors of the Bay's wine industry.
"We'd love to see them there."
The long-range target for the New Zealand tourism industry is an annual turnover of $41 billion by 2025.