Auckland Airport leads tourism delegation to India

Published: Fri 4 Oct 2019 01:41 PM
Auckland Airport leads New Zealand tourism delegation to India
Auckland Airport is seeking to further strengthen New Zealand’s connection with one of the world’s most promising high-value visitor markets, leading a delegation of tourism industry leaders to India last month.
Each year, more than 65,000 travellers visit New Zealand from India, with those on holiday staying an average of 20 days – 7 days longer than the average tourist – and frequently visiting during the quieter ‘shoulder’ season months in spring and autumn.
General Manager of Aeronautical Commercial at Auckland Airport Scott Tasker said while inbound visitor numbers from India had grown by 15% over the last four years, India’s fast emerging middle class represent a significant opportunity for New Zealand’s tourism sector, with number predicted to grow from 80 million in 2018 to 580 million people by 2025.
“New Zealand needs to ensure it is at the front of the queue when Indian tourists are thinking of holiday destinations and that we have the support of the travel industry in India. These were some of the key drivers behind our visit to India.”
The delegation included a diverse group of New Zealand tourism industry leaders, who met with key industry advocates and stakeholders in Mumbai and Delhi, including MakeMyTrip, India’s largest online booking platform; India’s Ministry of Tourism; travel agency Thomas Cook India[1] and India-based airlines.
“There are many positives in our favour. Indian tourists already have a high awareness of New Zealand through Bollywood movies, cricket and the Lord of the Rings. As tourists, Indians are very active, which plays to New Zealand’s strengths as an adventure destination. Interestingly, in this market our main competition is Switzerland, highlighting how New Zealand is viewed in India as a premium and highly aspirational destination.
“We also discovered that this is a late booking market and because of this visitors from India value ease and efficiency when arranging travel - something which the New Zealand tourism industry is working to provide.
“We continue our focus on tapping into the demand for overseas travel in India, working with airline partners and local travel trade to deliver in-market campaigns that promote the NZ Inc. experience,” added Mr Tasker.
Auckland Airport has invested in the local market by employing a business development manager for India based in Mumbai. Their role is to further raise awareness of New Zealand tourism, execute in-market campaigns and develop the necessary links for New Zealand and India tourism and travel operators so both markets can grow.
While 65,200 Indian’s visited New Zealand in 2019, more travelled the other way, with 79,800 New Zealand residents visiting India. When asked the purpose of their visit, 72% of New Zealanders said they were visiting family and friends and 21% said they were visiting for a holiday - a segment the Indian tourism industry is keen to expand.
“We came away feeling confident that we understood how we could work with our travel, trade and airline partners to grow visitation from India to New Zealand,” said Mr Tasker.
“Tourism and trade ties between India and New Zealand are also likely to further strengthen through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a 16-nation agreement which aims to establish consistent rules, boost market access and grow trade in southern and eastern Asia. With all parties resolved to complete talks by the end of the year, and the tourism industry having already been identified as a key benefactor, now is the time to invest in this market.”
The Auckland Airport led delegation to India included executives and board members from the following tourism industry and government representatives:
• Auckland Airport
• Kaikoura Whale Watch
• Ngai Tahu Tourism
• Tourism New Zealand
• New Zealand High Commissioner to India

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