TNZ hopes for direct air connectivity

New Zealand considers India a priority market. The two countries can get direct air connectivity once the visitor numbers are encouraging enough, says Angela Blair, GM International, Tourism New Zealand, celebrating 20 years of her organisation’s presence in India.

Hazel Jain

Angela Blair, General Manager International, Tourism New Zealand, was in India recently, along with a huge delegation of travel trade from New Zealand, to celebrate 20 years of presence in India with the travel trade in Mumbai and New Delhi. She said, “We have 20 industry partners, including activities, hotels and DMOs, airlines as well as airports. They conducted frontline training with 200 travel sellers in Mumbai and Delhi. We are also celebrating 20 years of Tourism New Zealand in India.”

From 2015 to 2019 the visitor numbers from India to New Zealand doubled to reach 66,775 visitors in 2019.

“Recovery of all of our international markets is tied closely to air connectivity. We are constrained with some of the connectivity coming from our Asian hubs. But we are really encouraged by being able to offer online visas, which means you don’t have to be in the main centres to go through the visa process,” she said, adding, “India is a priority market for us. It is an emerging market and in our top 10 source markets. Continued growth would mean a possibility of direct connectivity between India and New Zealand, which would be an enormous unlock for us. With this, India could climb up the ranks.”

Tourism New Zealand also has an incentive programme that it looks at on a case to case basis.

“We are seeing exponential growth in M!CE travel and have recently signed up our first incentive group. One of things we look for are high-quality visitors – several things define them. It’s the range of activities they take part in, how they travel across seasons and across regions, it’s the way they engage with our culture and our community, as well as the care they show to our environment. Our Indian visitors very much set in that. They participate in a high number of activities when they visit. We do see a big increase in visitors coming to New Zealand as a mono destination. Pre-COVID the average stay was 14 days,” Blair said.

The national tourist organisation (NTO) will now conduct its big trade show TRENZ that is taking place in Christchurch from 9-11 May 2023, where 15 travel agents from India will be hosted. The New Zealand trade delegation included a diverse mix of Regional Tourism Organisations, hotels, attractions, airports and airlines from New Zealand.

The focus of the frontline training workshops was for the New Zealand industry to reconnect with Indian travel trade. They shared the latest destination information and experiences in New Zealand and highlighted destination readiness, as India approaches its peak travel season, which coincides with New Zealand’s autumn and winter. This was also a great opportunity for Tourism New Zealand to celebrate 20 years of  operations in India with trusted partners and pay tribute to the role they played in the growth of Indian tourism to New Zealand.

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