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Suppliers on-board with more incentives and support for agents on the back of a record turnout at Brand USA Agent Expo 2024

New energy and enthusiasm for the USA was on full display with a record turn-out. 260 travel agents were on-site at The Pullman, Auckland for The Brand USA Agent Expo 2024 meeting with suppliers, airlines, hotels from the USA.

Speaking on the day, Clinton White, Director, Brand USA, AU/NZ said the numbers are looking extremely positive from New Zealand to all parts of the USA. “2023 was a great year for travel to the United States. We had just over 250,000 visitors from New Zealand into the sates which represented about 83% up on 2022. So, number are really strong out of New Zealand which is great.” He attributed this to the increased airlift from New Zealand, specially to the west coast of U.S.

Koby Jonas and Aloma Butler of Qantas, New Zealand advised that the 4-day, 787 Dreamliner service to NY was going great and Qantas had increased services from Australia to the US as well. Agents can look forward to the Qantas roadshows that are back again this year.

Tony Soden from Rocky Mountaineer spoke about Rockies to the Red Rocks journey from Denver to Mohab. He advised travel agents can book an agent rate of US$ 399, where the agent and their partner (for the same rate) can experience the 2-day, luxury train journey to Mohab. Karen McCardle from Visit Utah said this year it was all about celebrating 100 years of American film sets and a new website that highlights all the itineraries. She also advised about the newly launched Utah specialist program.

Amy Mortlock from Disney Destinations shared that the next big thing for them is Pixar Fest, which is back at Disneyland California Adventure Park and runs from April to July. A fully re-imagined Pixar Place Hotel in Anaheim has also re-opened in January. She further added that there have been numerous changes at Disneyland and Walt Disney World products, and they’ll be looking to bringing agents up-to-speed with the latest developments and happenings.

Lisa Linn from Visit Anaheim spoke about the specialised website that’s been set up just for the New Zealand trade. It’s a great resource to find itineraries in suggestions, transport, accommodation, things to do and places to eat as well as industry rates.

Chris Ingram from Memphis Tourism welcomed agents willing to visit Memphis this year and will be supported during their time there. Everybody has different tastes and demands but if agents are heading up to that part of the world, we’ll be supportive, said Chris.

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