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15 December 20: TRENZ returning as hybrid event in 2021

New Zealand's biggest annual international travel and trade event is set to return in 2021 – but not in its usual form.

Each year, TRENZ brings hundreds of international travel buyers, sellers and media delegates together to meet with New Zealand’s leading tourism operators, to build or renew relationships and negotiate business deals for the coming seasons.

The event was cancelled this year for the first time ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, TRENZ will run as a special hybrid event: a one or two-day physical event for New Zealand tourism operators (sellers) and any international tourism and travel buyers who are able to attend in person. This will be followed by a series of digital sessions targeting New Zealand’s major visitor markets.

“We’ve listened to our buyers and sellers, who have told us they’re keen for an event in 2021,” says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of TIA, which manages and produces TRENZ on behalf of the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.

“As similar tourism trade events around the world are also doing, in 2021 we will provide an opportunity to meet in person for those who can; and provide a digital platform to connect others.”

Mr Roberts says the funding support received from the Government’s Regional Events Fund has been critical in giving the Trust the confidence to proceed with a hybrid TRENZ in 2021. Tourism New Zealand is closely involved as a key partner in ensuring the event’s success.

“To ensure cost is not a barrier to attendance, our intention is to make the basic registration package completely free to New Zealand sellers and international buyers.”

Sellers and buyers will still have to meet selection criteria to qualify to attend.

The physical aspect of the event will take place in Ōtautahi Christchurch, most likely in May, the traditional month for TRENZ on the global calendar.

Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ General Manager Destination and Attraction, says she is “delighted to welcome TRENZ 2021 to Ōtautahi Christchurch” after the city was unable to host in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“Tourism is critical to our regional economy, supporting our city and districts in showcasing their unique experiences and driving economic impact,” Ms Heaphy says.

“It is poignant for Ōtautahi Christchurch to host TRENZ in 2021, a decade since earthquakes changed the face of our city. We remain committed to the tourism sector and its value to our ongoing recovery and our communities.

“TRENZ 2021 will showcase Ōtautahi Christchurch to our domestic tourism colleagues, and those international buyers who can join us either in person or virtually. We know delegates will love exploring New Zealand’s newest city, and we will be sure to provide amazing experiences to everyone who can join us.”

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says TRENZ has always been an important fixture on the New Zealand tourism industry’s calendar, but with the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, it’s more crucial now than ever.

“Resuming the distribution of New Zealand tourism products in international markets and getting in front of important international buyers will be key to restarting the industry. It’s fantastic the event will take place in Christchurch next year, which will give the city a further platform to showcase its newest attractions.”

More information, including registration details, will be available early in the new year.