The International Summit will immerse its participants in exclusive cultural and culinary experiences, including at the five-star host property and through extensive exploration of the host city. A variety of pre- and post-meeting tours from sponsor Travel2 and In-Country Partner Southern Crossings will take TL Network travel agents across the beautiful North Island and South Island.
“We are very pleased to now offer this exclusive, VIP opportunity to our TL Network Canada Affiliates. By extensively immersing our agency owners in our host destination, they will be able to provide dramatically enhanced guidance and in-depth counsel to their customers, particularly their luxury clientele,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of TL Network. “This is particularly pertinent given our agents’ affluent client interest in visiting New Zealand, according to our Fall 2016 survey. By attending this year’s International Summit, our TL Network Members will enjoy very unique experiences that can greatly enhance their knowledge on New Zealand, which will translate into even more informed customers.”
“The opportunity for TL Network Affiliates in Canada to attend the 2017 International Summit is an example of the type of added, exclusive benefits our Canadian travel agents are receiving as a result of three major agency groups combining together to create North America’s largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry,” said TL Network’s Vice President Christine James, who has long overseen the organization’s operations in Canada when it was known as Vacation.com. “This year’s International Summit in New Zealand will offer countless opportunities for TL Network Canada owners and managers to enjoy networking with their peers, headquarters executives and select supplier partners while experiencing included and optional VIP tours throughout this world-class destination.”
The opening event for the 2017 International Summit will be at Ōrākei Marae in Auckland, where the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have had a presence for 400 years. The tribe has worked hard to maintain a presence in Auckland and preserve the history of these indigenous people. In this very special and unique evening hosted by Tourism New Zealand and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Members will go through a traditional ceremony on sacred grounds of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, including a ceremonial tree planting.
“Because of the highly exclusive nature of our International Summit, the Marae event is not open to the public for tours, thus making this a most extraordinary opportunity for our TL Network Members to receive a formal welcome in New Zealand,” added James.
Auckland – also known as Tamaki Herenga Waka: the gathering place of canoes – is especially desirable because of its harbors and natural beauty of its landscapes. TL Network Members have several opportunities to explore this great city and the surrounding area through several tour options included, along with optional pre- and post-tour events.
The agenda for the 2017 International Summit offers the following:
- Matakana Coast Wine Country: Attendees will have the opportunity to drive north of Auckland city, over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, to view the Waitemata Harbour and the North Shore areas before entering the tranquil countryside of the Rodney District. Upon arrival at Brick Bay Wines, they will enjoy a shared platter style lunch at the Brick Bay café overlooking the sculpture exhibits and vineyard. They will also participate in a guided tour of the sculpture trail with the Arts staff. It will be a unique outdoor gallery experience framed by native trees, majestic palms, abundant birdlife and green pastures.
- Hobbiton Day: Guests will have the opportunity to participate in a privately guided tour of Hobbiton, located in Matamata, to discover the real “Middle Earth,” which is a working sheep and beef farm most known as the picturesque private farmland that was the movie setting of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies. The tour includes stops at Hobbit Holes, the Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, the double-arched bridge, and other structures and gardens from the films.
- Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves: Participants have an opportunity for a private tour of the famed Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves to marvel over the ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. This includes a stop at the magnificent “Cathedral,” a world-renowned cave.
- Yachting in the Viaduct Harbour: A private 90-minute sailing excursion aboard a 50-meter monohull sailing yacht – from the Viaduct Harbour out into the beautiful Auckland Harbour – will be an adventure for participants to remember.
- Auckland Museum and Brick Bay: This visit to the Auckland Museum, which stands in the Auckland Domain on the rim of an ancient volcano, will be a moment attendees will want to share with their clientele interested in the region. From here there are spectacular views of the city and Waitemata Harbour. Participants will arrive prior to the museum opening to the public in order to enjoy a private tour of Maori Taonha and South Pacific artifacts. Here, they will also learn about the Aotearoa people and the remarkable flora and fauna.
- South Island Sea Sky & Road Adventure: Members have the opportunity to participate in an optional 6-day post-tour FAM in Christchurch and Queenstown. The opportunity is perfect for Active and Adventure Travel specialists. The tour includes views of glaciers and the mountains, as well as choices of a high-speed jet boating excursion or a slow-speed option, and a heli-glacier flight. There will be a stop at the national Kiwi Centre and Glacier Hot Pools, as well as overnight stays at Te Waonui Resort and St. Moritz in Queenstown.
- Spectacular Northern Adventure: Another post-tour FAM available to members entails a 6-day exploration of the best of the North Island, which includes a visit to Waitomo Caves, enjoying the cultural experiences of Rotorua; a tour of Te Puia – a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland – and exclusive tours of Taupo, Napier, and Wellington. In addition, there will be stops at the Agrodome Sheep Show and at Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a chance to marvel at the native flora and fauna.
- Skydive in Queenstown: Adventurous attendees who seek an adrenaline rush can partake in an optional 9,000-foot or 15,000-foot skydiving adventure with NZONE Skydive.
- Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, Cook Islands Extensions: A visit to New Zealand can be coupled with other stops in the South Pacific, including FIT booking options to Australia, Tahiti, Fiji or the Cook Islands for those wishing to extend their visit.
“Our sponsors are dedicated partners, who not only want to increase the value of the experience for our TL Network Affiliates, but are also committed to making every adventure a wonderful experience for our agents’ clients,” added Block.
In addition to Tourism New Zealand, ATEED, Travel2 and Southern Crossings, sponsors of the 2017 International Summit include: AIG Travel, Enterprise Holdings, Globus family of brands, Travelport and Viking Cruises.
TL Network Canada Members may register here for the 2017 International Summit in New Zealand. New Zealand joins an impressive roster of enchanting world cities that have hosted the International Summit. Previous Summits have been mounted on every inhabited continent in the following cities: London (2000), Hong Kong (2001), Paris (2002), Barcelona (2003), Budapest (2004), Dublin (2005), Rome (2006), Dubai (2007), Berlin (2008), Santiago (2009), Jerusalem (2010), Sydney (2011), Dubrovnik (2012), Cape Town (2013), Istanbul (2014), Edinburgh (2015), and Shanghai (2016).
Travel agencies interested in learning more about TL Network Canada, which has nearly 7,000 travel agencies and more than CDN $22 billion in annual sales volume throughout North America, and about the award-winning programs it offers agencies in leisure and luxury travel, business travel, destination weddings and honeymoon travel – as well as active and adventure travel – may visit TLNetwork.ca. Potential customers may visit CanadianTravelAgents.ca.
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About TL Network
TL Network assists millions of leisure and business travelers, annually, and is the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry. TL Network includes nearly 7,000 Associates and Member travel agencies locations in Canada and the United States, and represents more than CDN $22 billion in annual sales volume. TL Network’s award-winning Agent Profiler agent-locator, marketing, technology, supplier partnerships and educational programs are designed around our travel agents’ commitment to our vacation and business travel clients in providing a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. TL Network Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Travel Leaders Network LLC, which is a Travel Leaders Group LLC company.