Bowling over the Indian market – Stephen Fleming appointed as latest TNZ ambassador

As viewers all over India tune in for the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup, Tourism New Zealand has appointed kiwi cricketing legend Stephen Fleming as the newest tourism ambassador to join its ranks.

The former Black Caps captain will endorse New Zealand as a holiday destination in India, where he is a well-known figure, having coached Mumbai's Chennai Super Kings (winners of the 2014 Champions League Twenty20) since 2009.

Steven Dixon, Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager South and South East Asia, says he is delighted with the appointment.

"Stephen is the ideal candidate to promote New Zealand's unique tourism offerings in India, given the nation's love affair with cricket, and the fact he is well-known as the coach of the Super Kings.

"With a huge global television audience - it was estimated that over a billion people tuned into the India v Pakistan match alone - the Cricket World Cup has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to capture the attention of the Indian market, to promote New Zealand as co-host of the tournament.

"Building on that, and taking on Stephen as a tourism ambassador, we can further leverage the profile he has in India to promote the country as a visitor destination long after the final ball of the CWC has been played."

This isn't the first time Fleming has joined forces to promote the destination he calls home - to mark the 100-day countdown to the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 on 14 February, he travelled through India and Sri Lanka with a 15-strong delegation on a Cricket World Cup promotional mission.

"Stephen's trip to India and Sri Lanka in November last year garnered a lot of media attention, making headlines in the leading news outlets in Mumbai and Delhi", says Steven.

Fleming's first engagement as tourism ambassador was appearing alongside his family in Tourism New Zealand's latest advertising campaign in India. The campaign which went live last week showcases the scenery and unique experiences to be had around Queenstown and Auckland, and was released across social, online and print channels.

Another recently appointed ambassador is Indonesian actor Joe Taslim, who travelled New Zealand in November 2014 with talk show host Sarah Sechan, known as the "Ellen DeGeneres" of Indonesia.

Filmed at Hobbiton and Te Puia, the New Zealand episode went to air in December 2014 and was watched by 40 million people, with an equivalent advertising value of $135,000. In addition, over $1 million in equivalent advertising value was achieved from social media activity generated by Taslim and Sechan during their visit.

The use of tourism influencers in Tourism New Zealand's marketing activity is a proven and cost‑effective way to reach and influence a large number of people, says Steven.

"There is no denying that word of mouth is one of the most powerful factors, when it comes to people making travel decisions. When that endorsement comes from popular and appealing influencers the impact is even stronger."

Through the development of Tourism New Zealand's three-year marketing strategy, India was identified as holding significant potential for New Zealand in the longer term. As a result, India is a focus emerging market, with Tourism New Zealand committed to investing within this market to build visitor demand and provide leadership and support for New Zealand tourism businesses.

Arrivals from India are steadily growing - as of the year ending December 2014, New Zealand has reported 37,392 tourist arrivals from India (+20.7 per cent), of which 17,280 were holiday arrivals (+17.6 per cent).

Read more about our market activity in India.