SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
“We saw total inbound from India come up to approximately 30,000 last year. Of these around 15000 were pure leisure holiday makers. We hope to see these numbers increase,” said Mischa Mannix-Opie, regional manager South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand. These travellers come in at an important time for the New Zealand market. The season time for New Zealand are the months from November to March, the remaining months being lean. “Indians most often travel to New Zealand during April and May which is right in the middle of the lean season, bringing in much needed business to the country,” said Mannie-Opie. She added that New Zealand saw a slight dip in numbers last year but that picked up post October last year and the growth has been positive.
Keeping this in view Mannie-Opie informed that for 2012-13, the key segments New Zealand is trying to promote in India are honeymoon, family and incentives. “Adventure is still one of our biggest draws and can be well accommodated within these three segments as well,” she added. The tourism board works closely with Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific which are the primary choice of carriers for Indians to New Zealand. Working with the travel fraternity is a priority for Mannie-Opie. “We are committed to working with the travel trade. We trained around 1300 travel agents to specialise about New Zealand last year,” she said.