Exclusive | Expect double digit growth from India: Tourism New Zealand's Craig
When it comes to international tourist destination or holidays, one of the first names that strike our minds is New Zealand! Exploring New Zealand's magnificent landscape and coastline tops the list for many travellers, with sky diving topping the list of most of the tourists.
Tourism New Zealand, a government body that is known to promote New Zealand’s tourism industry has seen a strong growth of 13.3% for the year ended June 2014 out of the market, with 33,904 tourist arrivals from India of which 16,224 were holiday arrivals.
With an aim to create awareness and buzz in the Indian market, Tourism New Zealand very recently organized ‘Kiwi Link India’, an annual travel trade event which is running from end of July to mid August 2014 across four markets in India - Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Interestingly, the 2014 edition Kiwi Link is one the biggest events by Tourism New Zealand with more than 30 companies from New Zealand, including exhibitors, travel tour operators and regional tourism organizations where immigration New Zealand would be training the travel partners and agents in India.
Adgully caught up with David Craig, General Manager - Asia at Tourism New Zealand to gain some deeper insights about their initiatives and plans ahead.
Elaborating on the new initiative, Kiwi Link India, Craig said, “Kiwi Link is of the biggest events from our bouquet and this year, Kiwi Link India will see new attendees like Agroventures Adventure Park, Skydive Wanaka and SKYCITY Entertainment Group in addition to the all-time famous attractions, exhibitors and inbound operators like AJ Hackett Bungy NZ, Hobbiton movie set tour, Whale Watch Kaikoura and NZONE Skydive. The travel trade event is an annual feature in Tourism New Zealand’s calendar, highlighting the diversity of experiences available to visitors.”
The event serves as a platform for these companies and operators to showcase their commitment towards investing in the growing Indian market and exploring a variety of opportunities with their Indian counterparts.
As India is New Zealand’s 10th Largest Visitor Market, over the past year Tourism New Zealand has increased its investment in India four-fold – grown the team to 4, and increased efforts delivering a fully integrated marketing campaign, new trade engagement with just over 76 certified 100% Pure New Zealand specialists in India, stepped up their efforts to engage with the media and introduced a new focus on International Business events.
“We expect a double digit growth from the Indian market for the next three years. India is one of Tourism New Zealand’s priority markets in Emerging Markets sector in our 3 Year Marketing Plan. In order to reinforce our long-term commitment to the Indian market, TNZ has tripled its funding to NZD 3.5 million per annum for the next four years. This is an increase of nearly 400 per cent compared to fund allocated earlier”, he elaborated.
Today, New Zealand has gained prominence among the travellers and there has been a lot of traction towards that destination. Defining the kind of groups that they cater to he said, “There are different types of travellers that we cater to and we design are strategies depending the need and demand of each segment like Young Adventure segment (under 30), Family group and Honeymoon group.”
He strongly believes that today, Indian market is becoming independent and travellers have become much more sufficient, they are seeking out more new experiences. Also out of the above mentioned categories of the travel groups, family and Honeymoon group is quite pre dominant in the category, he mentioned.
In terms of sponsorships and partnerships, New Zealand’s India specific partner agencies for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 are TUI India, Fanatic Sports, Sports Konnect and Cutting Edge.
David Craig who has more than twenty years of experience with a variety of premium international brands, he first began his career in brand management in the UK with GlaxoSmithkline, progressing to international marketing roles with Grand Metropolitan and Guinness. Having worked with brands across the world, speaking of what made him choose Tourism New Zealand, he said, “I have worked all my life with a lot of brands and being a travelling student I always wanted to explore something of this sort. Tourism New Zealand as a brand has been fantastic, a wonderful brand to work with and the kind of initiatives they we do here have always excited me.”
David Craig has recently led the development of Tourism New Zealand’s Latin America strategy in 2013 and began as General Manager, Asia in February 2014. He oversees Tourism New Zealand's strategy and activities in the Asian markets including China, Japan, Korea, South and South East Asia and Indonesia.