In a recent interaction with ETTravelWorld, Gregg Wafelbakker, General Manager Asia at Tourism New Zealand, provided a comprehensive overview of the milestones and insights gained in 2023, shedding light on the growth of New Zealand‘s tourism market and outlining strategies for the Indian market in 2024.
Wafelbakker described 2023 as a year marked by milestones, particularly in terms of visitation numbers and brand growth. From January to September 2023, the total number of arrivals from India reached an impressive 60,267, showcasing a remarkable 34 per cent surge compared to the same period in 2019. The robust recovery during this period solidified India’s position as a crucial visitor market for New Zealand.
Twenty Years in the Indian Market:
A significant achievement celebrated in 2023 was Tourism New Zealand’s twenty years of operation in the Indian market. In recognition of this milestone, a special event was organized to express gratitude to valued Indian partners. The event also served to acknowledge the significant contributions of these partners to the success of New Zealand’s tourism growth. Additionally, frontline training sessions were conducted in Mumbai and Delhi, featuring a 20-member delegation from New Zealand representing various entities such as Regional Tourism Organisations, hotels, attractions, airports, and airlines. This marked Tourism New Zealand’s first in-market event since 2020.Key Learnings and Takeaways:
Wafelbakker emphasized the crucial learning from the accomplishments in 2023—the need to continue building momentum in India by growing the desire for New Zealand and converting this into bookings. The strategy involves leveraging strong partnerships through trade collaborations, media alliances, and opportunities for advocacy.
Strategies for 2024:
Looking ahead to 2024, Tourism New Zealand aims to continue converting high-quality Indian visitors. This involves incorporating content that specifically addresses travel obstacles for Indian travelers in campaigns, partnerships, and trade efforts. The focus will be on providing guidance on planning a visit to New Zealand, navigating travel within the country, and highlighting established health and safety measures.
In summary, 2023 has been a year of achievements and growth for Tourism New Zealand, setting the stage for continued success in the Indian market in the coming year. The focus remains on building partnerships and addressing the specific needs of Indian travelers to enhance the appeal of New Zealand as a preferred travel destination.