Air New Zealand and Goway Travel face off in annual cricket match

What began as a friendly game to pay tribute to a valuable business relationship has turned into something of an annual tradition between Goway Travel and Air New Zealand.

Yesterday afternoon, Goway Travel hosted their 16th annual cricket match with Air New Zealand at the Toronto Cricket Club.

When PAX arrived on scene, the game was relatively even, but Bruce Hodge, President of Goway Travel, was keeping a close watch. "This is the 16th game and the Goway team has won every year except two, but currently it’s not looking so good," Hodge said.

IMG_6831.JPG Bruce Hodge, president, Goway Travel and Bronwyn Hodge, general manager, Islands at Goway Travel.

"I predict it's going to be close. They better win [Goway], because there’s a couple of Goway people on the Air New Zealand team and I’ve threatened them with their job,” Hodge joked. “If they help ANZ win against Goway, I'll take their job away!”

By the end of the game, Air New Zealand took the lead by one point, with an incredibly close score of 114 to 113.

Both Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand were on site to speak with PAX about the importance of both parties' working relationship with Goway Travel.

"There are a lot of things happening with Air New Zealand, in particular, we’re putting 20 per cent more capacity into the Vancouver-Auckland operation and Goway is getting behind that with us which is great," said Liz Fraser, vice president of the Americas, Air New Zealand. "Our new campaign is going down really well, and we’ve hit some fantastic brand exposure, particularly in Canada."

_MG_6796.JPG Liz Fraser, vice president of the Americas, Air New Zealand

During the first half of the January 2018 peak period, Air New Zealand will increase services from seven to eight flights per week, making it easier than ever for Canadians to escape the cold.

According to Tourism New Zealand's Trade Development Executive, Renata West, Canada is performing at around 50 per cent upwards from last year in terms of its total arrivals to New Zealand. "Canada is always a very important market for us, because Canadian visitors tend to stay longer and they tend to visit more regions, which are really important for us, being a smaller country," West said.

"There's so much to see and do and I think there's an affinity between Canadian people and Kiwi people; we see the world very similarly, for example, we’ve got the same sense of humor and politeness, and we’re part of the Commonwealth. We both have beautiful landscapes, and we like to visit places that are off the beaten track."

_MG_6814.JPGRenata West, trade development executive, Tourism New Zealand

Goway Travel and Air New Zealand have been working together for close to 30 years, and a good portion of this successful relationship comes from Goway's ability to tap into delivering an authentic New Zealand experience to interested customers.

"Goway has been able to promote the destinations that haven’t gotten any limelight in the past," West said. "They're able to find things that other people haven't been able to find because they know the destination so well, and theyre able to push people to explore the unknown.

"They're efficient in their time because they know how long it takes to get to these places, and this really provides an overall seamless experience.”