AJ Hackett co-founder attempts heli-bungy to launch TRENZ tourism trade show

It's about 20 years since AJ Hackett co-founder Henry van Asch last attempted a heli-bungy.

On Tuesday morning he tackled the challenge in a new location, jumping from 150 metres above Otago Harbour to launch the tourism industry's biggest trade show.

"We started bungy 30 years ago, and it's still great to be involved with it," he says.

"We've got fresh waves of people coming through to experience Otago and New Zealand's great adventure activities."

The company is developing a brand-new experience to challenge thrill seekers, as the country continues to ride a wave of tourism growth.

The industry's TRENZ show is being staged in Dunedin for the first time, matching tourism operators with international buyers.

While some regions are under pressure, there's confidence the country can support more visitors.

"We want visitors to spread right around New Zealand, and there's also a real push to have them come at different times of the year," says Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO Chris Roberts.

"That's the best way to manage those pressures that are occurring in the hotspots at certain times of the year."

Tourism New Zealand is also keen to ensure more of the country benefits from that international growth.

"Targeting by 2023 an additional billion dollars in the regions of New Zealand from international tourism, we believe full and wholeheartedly that we can get in behind that and make that a reality," says Tourism New Zealand CEO Stephen England-Hall.

A fresh focus is being welcomed by tourism operators in the South.

"You know, we're all for that in Dunedin," says Dunedin Railways CEO Craig Osborne. "We're not on the mainstream routes, but there's definitely things in the regions that are well worth doing."

They are activities international travel buyers will get to experience themselves later this week.