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Shark cage diving and a Maori cultural experience that brings local legends to life are two of the new products New Zealand’s tourism industry is unveiling to the international market in May.

They are among the 65 new activity, accommodation and transport products that will be on show to international travel and tourism buyers at TRENZ 2010, New Zealand’s largest international tourism event, on in Auckland 24-27 May.

More than 270 Buyers from New Zealand’s major and emerging international visitor markets will be attending this year’s event, and they will be eager to find new products they can incorporate into their travel packages and itineraries for the coming seasons, says Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Tim Cossar.

“For 22 operators, it will be the first time they have exhibited at TRENZ and promoted their products to these influential travel and tourism Buyers, who between them write 75% of the international visitor business to New Zealand.”

Mr Cossar says the number of new products and new Exhibitors at this year’s TRENZ reflects the depth and innovation of New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which generates $25 million foreign exchange earnings into the economy every day of the year.

“Our tourism businesses have come through an extremely tough year given the huge impact of the global financial crisis on many of our major visitor markets. Yet they are continuing to invest in new and exciting products that help keep New Zealand’s offering new and exciting on the international stage. TRENZ will help them maximise their return on that investment.”

For Mangatawa Tourism, due to open late 2010, TRENZ provides a cost-effective way of promoting its new product to international buyers from many different markets.

“No other industry show gives us the opportunity to interact with this number of international product buyers and media representatives in the one place in New Zealand,” says Chief Executive Officer Glenn Ormbsy.

Mangatawa Tourism is a joint venture project between Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Inc and The Department of Discovery/Amatori Tourism based in Tauranga. The cultural visitor experience it is bringing to TRENZ is a new way of telling stories, explains Mr Ormsby.

“The story we will share with visitors through an interpretation centre and guided walk is the local tangata whenua legend of three whales – a family that became stranded in our harbour and transformed into three hills, connecting them to the land and the sea.”

Auckland’s Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World is planning to wow TRENZ Buyers with its new shark cage.

“It’s our latest adrenalin experience,” says Marketing Manager Tessa Lawrence. “It gives visitors the chance to come face to face with 22 sharks, while wearing just a wetsuit, snorkel and mask and with nothing more than a mesh cage between them. The sharks range up to three metres, so you are assured a thrilling encounter.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World is a regular Exhibitor at TRENZ.

“It’s important to keep bringing new product to the show to keep up with other attractions around the world,” says Ms Lawrence. “The shark cage is aimed at the younger, backpacker segment, but it also has broad appeal to visitors who love nature and wildlife and want an up close and personal encounter with the ocean’s most-feared predator that is also safe!”

Transport operator Gray Line is also taking new product to TRENZ 2010.

“The most exciting development we are bringing is our new five-star coach which we use for the Queenstown to Milford Sound day trip,” says General Manager Ben Thornton. “The coach features a glass roof so visitors can see the majestic alpine skyscape, an on-board rest room, incredible leg room, a large LCD screen, and a wireless multi-lingual commentary system in Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin.”

This state-of-the-art coach is aimed at Buyers who are looking for product for free independent travellers, explains Mr Thornton, who says TRENZ is an integral part of the company’s international marketing strategy. Gray Line is part of Johnston’s Coachlines, the exclusive ground transport sponsor of TRENZ 2010.

A full list of first-time Exhibitors and new product at TRENZ 2010 is below.

TRENZ 2010 is managed by TIA in partnership with Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and other industry supporters.

For further information visit: www.trenz.co.nz

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