November 26, 2022

With New Zealand borders reopened since August, Tourism New Zealand is eyeing to attract ‘value’ travellers in India who are seeking unique experiences with a strong connection to its people, culture and nature.

“What we are looking at from the Indian market is not much about volume but value of travellers who are coming in. So, we want to tap Indian travellers who can connect with local communities and explore lesser-known places in the country. We are seeking curious travellers who are ready for the unexpected,” said Gregg Wafelbakker, general manager, Asia, Tourism New Zealand while speaking to TTG Asia on his recent visit to India.

Wafelbakker: recovery for the tourism sector will happen gradually

Wafelbakker shared that the average length of stay of Indian visitors to New Zealand has been 14 days in the past, which is more than any other international market. The number of Indian tourist arrivals to New Zealand doubled from 2015 to 2019 with 60,000 Indian visitors.

“India has been the fastest growing market for us prior to the onset of the pandemic. Indian travellers traditionally have engaged in more activities than other markets. However, as sustainability has become critical as we look to rebuild tourism, we want Indian travellers to contribute both economically and socially,” added Wafelbakker.

Going ahead with the strategy above, Tourism New Zealand introduced its new campaign If You Seek in the Indian market in September, associating with trade partners including Thomas Cook, MakeMyTrip and Kulin Kumar Holidays. As part of the campaign, Tourism New Zealand has curated special itineraries for travellers that include variety of experiences like relaxing in the hot pools of He Puna Taimoana to swimming with dolphins at Kaikoura Dolphins.

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If You Seek is a unique campaign targeting high-quality visitors to New Zealand and will create curiosity among end travellers to explore the destination deeper. It simplifies the magic of New Zealand to step out of one’s comfort zone and seek more,” said Pratik Shah, chief operating officer, Kulin Kumar Holidays.

“We are encouraged with the forward bookings for New Zealand from the Indian market. We understand that recovery for the tourism sector will happen gradually and we are encouraged by what we are hearing from our trade partners,” said Wafelbakker.