Tourism NZ, Immigration NZ move to boost Indian market
Tourism New Zealand and Immigration NZ have signed a raft of MOUs in India that will reduce visitor visa wait times there from 15 days to just three for those wanting to come here.
The initiative, part of Immigration NZ’s Tourism Industry Partnership Programme, aims to help lift Indian visitor numbers here from just over 63,000 in the year to March, to 100,000 annually by 2023.
The MOUs are with four key travel agents: Thomas Cook India, SOTC Travel, Cox and Kings and Kulin Kumar Holidays. They will target high-value Indian visitors for New Zealand.
“This new visa process will make it even easier for Indian travelers to experience New Zealand,” TNZ’s regional manager of the south and south-east Asia, Steven Dixon, told local media. “This agreement will ensure that New Zealand welcomes even higher caliber visitors.”
The number of visitors from India in the March 2018 year was up 18.5% on the previous 12-month period. Visitors spent an average of 13 days in New Zealand.
“Increasing awareness through different promotional programmes and tying up with travel agents, who have promoted NZ as a preferred destination has helped us in achieving this growth,” said Dixon.
Thomas Cook India said NZ was growing as a destination for both families and millennial travelers with its combination of extreme sports and spectacular scenery.
“We have seen a strong and steady growth of travelers heading to NZ,” said Rajeev Kale, president and country head of holidays at Thomas Cook India
“With a growth of more than 19% over the last few years, it has turned into a key market for Thomas Cook India. This new visa process will make it even easier for Indian travelers to experience New Zealand and we are confident of seeing higher uptake.”
India is New Zealand’s 11th largest international tourism market with around 60% of visitors free independent travelers.