SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
For Tourism New Zealand, India is among a new stream of emerging markets. The key markets in this segment are – India, Indonesia and Latin America. “We have started a new three-year marketing plan that prioritises which market we will be focusing on worldwide. We are increasing our budgets in these markets, increasing our staff and resource, and we will give a lot more weightage to the Indian market in the next three years,” said Mischa Mannix-Opie, regional manager – South & South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand. The NTO is currently recruiting staff in India and concentrating on increasing its brand awareness here.
According to Mannix-Opie, the focus in India is on two key segments – couples (honeymoon or young couples already married) and also the family market. She points out that there is also the opportunity of promoting the luxury/premium products of New Zealand, for example New Zealand’s Luxury Lodges. This is a customised high-end experience in some unique and specialised lodges.
Tourism New Zealand is also looking at Bollywood and TV opportunities. The two big upcoming events are – the India cricket tour of New Zealand in 2014 and the Cricket World Cup that New Zealand and Australia will be hosting in 2015. “This provides great opportunity to increase our brand awareness in this market. We have a very supportive travel agent community in India,” added Mannix-Opie. She mentioned that the travel industry in New Zealand also places India on the top of the list of the markets. There is a brand new convention centre in Auckland. For the Indian incentive market the destinations of interest would be Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Mannix-Opie stated that the Cathedral Square in Christchurch is now open to public for the first time since the earthquake in February 2011. “We’ve moved into the new exciting rebuilt phase. Many new hotels are opening. There are new tourism operations and experiences as well,” she said. From tourism perspective the opening of the new Christchurch Convention Centre will be an important milestone.