Rotorua tourism operators are ready for a hectic three days of wheeling and dealing at the annual Trenz conference that kicked off last night in Auckland.
It could mean a big year ahead for those who impress the more than 375 national and international tourism buyers who are on the hunt for the best Rotorua and New Zealand have to offer.
With the country in the middle of a tourism boom, Trenz has seen a record number of operators head to Shed 10 on Auckland's waterfront for the three-day expo with Rotorua represented by a record number of participants.
Destination Rotorua international trade manager Patrick Dault said no one in the industry could afford to be complacent and the standard of the displays at this year's Trenz was impressive.
Mr Dault and a small team from the Rotorua Lakes Council's tourism marketing arm will be at the event promoting the region as a whole.
"This is the week where everyone puts their best foot forward, and if they are lucky will secure some great opportunities for future business.
"It's also a great time to meet new people in the business and catch up with those they already know."
Mr Dault said while some sectors of the industry were seeing remarkable growth in numbers - such as hotels and motels - some adventure tourism offerings in Rotorua had suffered recently due to wild weather and their numbers were down on previous years.
"We're also seeing a lot more free international travellers not coming as part of package tours who like to book on the day, so businesses have to adapt to that as well.
"The tourism boom won't last forever either, so while they are launching new products or expanding their businesses, they have to keep one eye on international trends and stay sustainable and relevant."
He said a number of Rotorua's attractions would launch new or additional offerings at Trenz, "so watch this space, it's going to be exciting".
Last night's welcome function was a little more low key than previous years, but included a powhiri by a combined cultural group from Auckland Museum and Haka - The Legend, with speeches from Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts, newly appointed Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall and Auckland councillor Penny Hulst.
In the next three days buyers and sellers will hear announcements and updates from tourism business executives, MPs and industry experts about the future of tourism in New Zealand and around the world.
Matthew Martin is covering Trenz 2017 as a guest of Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
- The largest annual tourism expo in New Zealand
- Allows national and international buyers to meet tourism operators directly
- Rotorua is represented by 18 local businesses and eight larger tourism entities
- Runs from today through to Friday
- More than 1200 buyers, sellers, sponsors and media are attending the event