The Tourism Chat Show

The Tourism Chat Show

Kia ora and Welcome to The Tourism Chat Show, your passport to the world of travel and tourism! Hosted by Michelle Caldwell, an experienced senior marketer in the NZ Tourism Industry, you will be taken on a captivating journey through the industry. Join us every Wednesday as we explore the insights, stories, and wisdom of tourism’s brightest minds and most fascinating personalities. Whether you’re an industry veteran, or just starting out, or you’re just curious about the latest tourism trends and tips, this podcast is your ultimate destination for all things tourism. So fasten your seatbelts, and let’s embark on this exciting adventure together! Powered by: Destinate NZ


November 29, 2023 44 mins
In this edition of the Tourism Chat Show, host Michelle provides a thorough overview of how to work with trade in the tourism industry. She offers essential tips and information including refreshing market understanding, handling trade partnerships, and maintaining administrative capabilities. She talks about the importance of marketing collateral, setting and adjusting pricing, collaboration with other institutions, and main...
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In this episode of The Tourism Chat Show, host Michelle interviews Helen Hayes, a multi-award winning travel writer and editor from Australia.

We delve deep into the art of storytelling in tourism. Helen shares some insider secrets about effective storytelling to attract travel media attention. She elaborates on the significance of authenticity, passion, and unique experiences in creating compelling stories. Further, she offers val...

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This episode of the Tourism Chat Show features an insightful chat with Tom Collier, the owner of Kaewa Tours. As a first-time attendee at TRENZ this year, Tom shares his experience, success, and advice for those considering attending. He advocates for the value of the TRENZ show as integral to his business's growth and the capacity for networking and establishing fruitful relationships.

Tom touches on his journey, from the corporat...

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Welcome to our 100th episode!   We are excited to welcome Peter Harding, the Managing Director of Grand Pacific Tours to today's show. 

We'll cover off Peter's career journey, the evolution of coach touring in New Zealand, the shift towards a more discerning and intimate travel experience with smaller vehicle capacities, and the success of their highly rated Ultimate and Premium Economy coach tours. Peter and Michelle delve into ma...

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We are back with our first in a series of special episodes dedicated to TRENZ.   Applications have opened for sellers and buyers open today so it's time for you to start planning your international trade activity for 2024!

We have Lou Baddiley from Rotorua NZ on the show today. Lou was a first timer to TRENZ this year so shares some great insights into what the show entails and some great tips on how to get ready for it from an RTO...

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Welcome to this week's episode of The Tourism Chat Show! Our guest is Kumar Swaminathan from Xperienz, and he shares fascinating insights on several topics. We delve into his journey into the US market, exploring the opportunities and challenges he's encountered along the way.

Kumar also provides his perspective on the world of luxury and premium travel, and he explains his strategies for identifying and connecting with his 'ideal ...

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October 18, 2023 35 mins

Totally Tourism's Mark Quickfall joins us on the podcast today to discuss his 30 year love affair with the tourism industry. 

We cover the changes and challenges he's seen throughout his time in tourism, what has changed for the better (and worse) and he shares his views on governance and advice for operators starting out in the tourism industry. 

We tackle the hot topic of tourism in Milford Sound and what's required to get things...

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It has been a while since you've heard from us, but we are still here, and still committed to publishing great content for you to enjoy. 

This is a new era for our podcast, with a refreshed look and feel, new music and a great line up of guests from not only New Zealand, but around the world! 

This short episode outlines our plans and we'll be back next week with our very first guest. 


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In today's episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Tourism Industry Aotearoa's Chief Executive, Rebecca Ingram. We delve into her first year in the role, the various projects she has been involved in, and the challenges she foresees in the industry. However, the primary focus of our discussion is on TRENZ, New Zealand's most significant tourism trade show. With only two weeks left until the event, we explore the changes made to th...

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April 20, 2023 36 mins

As the TRENZ trade show in Ōtautahi Christchurch approaches in three weeks, we're sharing tips on how to make the most of your time there. We discuss the importance of preparation to ensure a smooth week, using appointment times to build relationships and gain market insights, structuring presentations during appointments, and following up after the event. We're fortunate to have Adele Marsden from New Zealand Educational Tours, an...

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In this episode, we welcome James Donald, co-founder of Yonder and Head of Development to the show.

We explore the fascinating world of ChatGPT, a cutting-edge language model developed by OpenAI. Based on the GPT-3.5 architecture, ChatGPT is capable of understanding and generating human-like language, making it a valuable tool for a variety of applications, including tourism.

We delve into how ChatGPT works, including its training ...

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This week we head to Ōtautahi Christchurch to have a chat with Christchurch NZ's Head of Tourism, Kath Low. 

In May, TRENZ returns to Christchurch for the first time since 2006! (who was there?)

A lot has happened since then so we cover off what's new and exciting, some of the things we can expect (but not ALL the secrets) and Kath very generously shares some local insider tips on what to do over the weekend if you're extending you...

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It was a month ago that Cyclone Gabrielle ripped through parts of the North Island so today we head to Hawke's Bay for an update on how the visitor sector is faring with Hawke's Bay Tourism Trade Marketing & Sales Manager, Heather Matthews. 

We have an in-depth discussion about the state of tourism in Hawke's Bay covering off access in and out, what's open, how the locals feel about welcoming back visitors and of course, how we can...

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It has been two long years since we did a cruise update on the show so today we're delighted to welcome Ro du Plessis-Wentzel from ID Tours to discuss how the restart has gone, the incredibly challenging summer we've had, plus what they look for when building shore excursion programmes for their cruise line customers. 

It's a very informative episode for anyone who works in the cruise industry, or for tourism operators who are keen...

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If you're attending TRENZ this year, this is an episode designed to help you make the most out of your appointment schedule. 

I'll cover off my tips for building your comprehensive trade page on TRENZ Connect as well as the homework you should start doing NOW to be prepared for the appointment schedule opening on 6th March. 

Tune in, take notes and get cracking on organising yourself for the biggest Tourism Trade event of the year!


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February 27, 2023 10 mins

Thanks for tuning in to our first episode of 2023. 

What a start to the year it has been.  Today is a short episode welcoming in the New Year (we're starting it late) and I also share some tips for communicating through a crisis. 

If you're an operator struggling in one of the weather affected regions and need some help, please don't hesitate to contact me to see how I may be able to assist. 


Happy New Year. 

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Chamber is back for the last episode of 2022 and boy is this a fun episode!   Here's a list of all the topics we cover in this action packed show. 

2.31 - Differences between working in Australia and New Zealand

4.28 - Travelling long haul again - what's changed? 

6.01 - Tourism Australia's Marketplace event in the UK

14.22 - ATEC Meeting Place in Cairns

17.24 - What they're saying about NZ

20.09 - Is Regenerative Tourism a thing i...

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Air New Zealand are one of the major partners for TRENZ so we are fortunate to have two international GMs join us today for a market update. 

Ben Evers-Swindell, General Manager Americas and Jonathan Zhang, General Manager Asia for Air New Zealand join Michelle in today's episode. 

We discuss the level of interest from trade in attending TRENZ 2023 and changes in the distribution channel in these major markets.  We touch on Air NZ ...

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Steven Dixon has been the General Manager at Qualmark for just over a year now so we thought now is the right time to catch up and hear about the plans he has for the future of the quality assurance programme. 

Steven gives us insight into the benefits of being part of Qualmark and shares some of the challenges they've had and how they are working their way through them. 

He tells us about some of the updates we'll see to Qualmark ...

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Fresh off their two big wins at this year's NZ Tourism Awards, we welcome Nadine Toe Toe from Kohutapu Lodge and Tribal Tours in Murupara. 

This is a raw and real interview that covers starting a regenerative tourism business before it was even a thing we talked about.  Nadine opens up on the challenges they've faced and the success they've had through their very authentic connection with their local community. 

Every now and then,...

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