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Author: Tracey Bond


Girl with a camera taking a photo of the hilly landscape.

News bites: May 25 2021

Australia: NZ monitors new Covid cases in Melbourne The Ministry of Health is actively monitoring the situation in Melbourne and remains in close contact with Australian health agencies. Confirmation of four linked cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne’s northern suburbs was announced today by Victorian Health. The Ministry is not recommending a pause on the Quarantine Free Travel arrangements with Victoria at this stage. However, there will be testing and isolation requirements on people who have been in locations of interest in Melbourne, including those who have travelled back to New Zealand in recent days. Rotorua: Biking day for those with disabilities People interested in having a go at adaptive mountain biking will hit the Rotorua trails on Saturday 29 May supported by a group of organisations providing a range of bikes to support a ‘Give it a Go’ day. #AdaptMTB with Mountain Bike Rotorua, and supported by Parafed Bay of Plenty and Parafed Auckland, is hosting the ‘Give it a Go’ day at 33 Waipa State Mill Rd, Rotorua so that those with disabilities can learn how to mountain bike in a supportive and helpful environment. Airlines: Air Tahiti Nui reopens flights with Aotearoa Air Tahiti Nui has successfully won a bid to the Ministry of Transport to reignite connectivity between New Zealand and Tahiti by providing weekly air freight services commencing 10 June. General Manager Pacific Daniel Eggenberger says, “The announcement is a lifeline to the airline’s New Zealand operations as well as New Zealand trade. The much-publicised disruption to the domestic supply chain can in part be attributed to the depletion of air cargo services connecting key markets, and we are very pleased to now be in a position to assist this.” Christchurch: Art experiments coming to Canterbury Museum An exhibition of experimental artworks by acclaimed Christchurch sculptor Graham Bennett opens at Canterbury Museum on Friday. The works on display are the products of Bennett’s experiments with new designs and materials, providing a unique insight into three decades of his practice. Many of the works are from the artist’s rarely seen personal collection.

Travcom members at a quiz night

May and June events

May 25th: Travcom relaunch event It’s been a while. As our industry has come to grips with a new normal so has Travcom. We have been a little quiet but we have not been idle: we’ve been busy getting ready to relaunch our website with a new look and new Travcom branding. We’d love for you to be among the first to see it at our relaunch event on Tuesday, May 25th, from 6pm at My Bar in Auckland. We will have complimentary drinks for members and platters. June 29th: Quiz night Come and join us at quiz night for a chance to meet with members and the committee and test your general knowledge. Where: Lumsden Freehouse, 444-448 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland When: Tuesday 29 June from 7pm We have booked two tables under the name of Travcom for quiz night which starts at 7pm. Food can be ordered, menus and drink menus can be found on http://thelumsden.co.nz/menu/ If you’d like to join us email eleanor.hughes@xtra.co.nz

Israel Fontanilla, Philippine Airline’s NZ Area Manager presents Mike Langford with the award for Photographer of the Year

2019 Travcom Travel Media Awards a huge success

Happy winners, great prizes, wonderful host and fresh format combined to make the 2019 Travel Media Awards a huge success, celebrating the best in travel communications.01/11/19 – With some 80 people guests in attendance representing media, travel industry representatives and sponsors the 2019 Philippine Airlines Travel Media Awards was held last night and the feedback has been fabulous, with many already looking forward to future events and next year’s awards! In the supreme categories Mike White won the Philippine Airlines Travel Writer of the Year and Mike Langford was named Philippine Airlines Travel Photographer of the Year at last night’s 2019 Philippine Airlines-Travcom Media Awards. It is the third time White (Pictured left with Israel Fontanilla, NZ Area manager for Philippine Airlines) has claimed the country’s top award for travel journalism, following wins in 2006 and 2014. The annual awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing, photography and digital media. This year’s competition attracted a record 400-plus entries. Travcom President Tracey Bond says: “The last 12 months have been an exciting time of change for Travcom. A year ago we were at a crossroads and asked all of our members what we should focus on. They told us the annual awards were a highlight of the year. “So, we were thrilled when Philippine Airlines came on board to sponsor this year’s awards and we hope this will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship.” “Philippine Airlines is honoured to be the naming sponsor of the Travel Media Awards,” Israel Fontanilla, the airline’s NZ Area Manager, said. “The sponsorship offers a unique opportunity to lift the profile of both Philippine Airlines and the Philippines as a destination, with a very influential group of people, who inspire and motivate New Zealanders to travel overseas through their writing and photography. “We look forward to seeing and reading about the winners’ experiences when they travel to the Philippines in the next year.” White won for his feature ‘Roaring Lion, Hidden Valley’, which appeared in North & South magazine. Judge Helen Hayes said: “This story was entertaining from beginning to end and made me look at Queenstown, a place I have been to many times, through different eyes. The story was cleverly constructed, brilliantly written and made me smile.” Langford’s winning image was ‘Weed Collectors, Dal Lake, Kashmir’. Judge Danielle Lancaster said: “The conversion to black and white suits the emotion in this image. I want to be out there with them. A lovely image worthy of printing.”

Travcom members meet to discuss how to pivot in a Covid-19 world.

How to pivot your travel career in a Covid-19 world

Things have been difficult for Travcom members and the wider travel industry over the past few months. Covid 19 has changed the goalposts. In New Zealand there are signs that the Travel industry is starting to recover with the ending of lockdown, and many operators have shifted their focus to domestic travel and everything that Aotearoa has to offer. Both the industry and travel writers, bloggers and photographers have had to pivot. At a recent Travcom event in Auckland, Kristine Horne, Communications and Partnerships Manager for The Travel Corporation explained how the business had changed its focus to domestic travel and offering travellers unique experiences not found with other operators. She shared the story of Newlands Hazelnut Farm which faced challenges when new owners Kerry and Pete had to carry out their first harvest with nobody to help during lockdown. They are now embracing tourism as an additional revenue stream and hope that by bringing Trafalgar clients to the farm this summer that New Zealanders will be more invested in buying locally produced nut products and also by increasing awareness of the hazelnut farming processes. Here are some tips for keeping ahead of the pack in these interesting times. 1. Housekeeping Now is a great time to find out how clients may view you and how clients find you. Google yourself, make sure you use an Incognito window, this way you are seeing what other people see when they search your name. Your search results may surprise you, what do you see? LinkedIn has very good searchability and often appears high in search results, make sure your profile is updated and if necessary include a photo. How can clients see examples of your work? Do you have social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, or do you have your work available on content hubs like Contently? Make it easy for clients to find you and  examples of your work. If you are a photographer get your files in order in case clients come calling for images they can’t get hold of in the current environment. 2. Re-purpose your existing content Consider the work you’ve already completed, can you re-purpose it and use it elsewhere? Consider translating your work into a different language, sites like freelancer.com provide plenty of people willing to translate articles for a small fee. This could give you a new market for your work. Also look at your back catalogue, what have you written about in the past that can be rewritten or re-angled? Think about how you can tweak existing content and make it appeal to a different market. Reach out to existing clients and see if they need help, offer your services, it may add to your portfolio and result in work further down the line. Think beyond the New Zealand Herald, Stuff and magazines, many corporate publications may have budget for content. Approach travel industry players who may be rethinking their strategy and including blog posts and content on their websites. 3.  Upskill Many Travcom members have been taking this opportunity to upskill, think of an area you want to improve, look for courses to help you achieve your goal. The Southern Institute of Technolgy offers fee-free courses, orhead to Youtube if you want help in specific areas. www.Edx.org is another online platform that offers a variety of courses. Or even just use this time to become familiar with a social platform, experiment with Instagram stories, or Facebook groups, or read up on how you can use these to boost your profile. Don’t forget to connect with other member in our Facebook group and share your top tips for navigating in Covid-19 times. – Tracey Bond, Travcom President

Kath Webster has been awarded a lifetime membership of Travcom.

Lifetime Membership awarded to Kath Webster

We are thrilled to announce that the Travcom committee has decided to award a Lifetime Membership to Kath for her longtime contributions to the organisation. Kath has always been a great supporter of freelancers, both established and up and coming, with AA and AA Directions as a sponsor of the Travcom New Writer awards. Kath has always been a wonderful ambassador for Travcom and its members. Thank you Kath for all that you have done over the years both as Travcom President and as an active committee member.