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 recently.
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 represents a significant opportunity for New Zealand’s tourism sector, with the 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,” stated Tasker.
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 Ministry of Tourism and India-based airlines.
Tasker said, “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 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 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.
“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 Tasker.
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.