Establishing foundations – Indonesia

Tourism New Zealand's work to establish its foundations in the priority emerging market of Indonesia is progressing well. In the last couple of months a new office space alongside our NZ Inc. colleagues in Jakarta was finalised and we have almost completed our recruitment process.

Last month we announced a series of senior appointments. Christian Sidharta is taking up the role of Country Manager, leaving his current role with corporate travel management company HRG Singapore; Aristo Kristandyo has been appointed Marketing Communications Manager, leaving Garuda Indonesia (Citilink) where he was VP Marketing Communications; and PR Manager, Mardiana Budi, joins us from PT Codice Communications International, a Jakarta PR agency. Recruitment to complete the team with a trade and business events executive is well underway.

With solid experience across the travel industry the team will provide a significant level of expertise. The full team will be in place from early November, and they will lead TNZ's activity to target potential travellers, while building demand and capturing future growth opportunities to secure a strong, long-term position for the New Zealand tourism industry.

As with any market, aviation links are critical to the success of a sustainable visitor flow. To date, we have engaged with Indonesia from our Singapore office, and New Zealand has been promoted through indirect services with the likes of Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. The obvious goal is to secure direct air links to Jakarta, and both Auckland International Airport and TNZ have recently been in positive discussions with Garuda Airlines, but no date has been committed to at this stage. In the meantime we welcome Air New Zealand's increase to four flights per week for the 2014 seasonal service.

To ensure a sound understanding of the market and what actions TNZ can take to improve visitor numbers, we have also completed a detailed analysis of the market's potential for delivering visitors to New Zealand.

This included examining general consumer trends, and the market's size and behaviours, before delving into the defined target market of 'emerging considerers' - who, like 'active considerers', already have a preference for New Zealand as a holiday destination, but are further from choosing it as their next destination.

Our research confirmed the sizable potential that Indonesia presents. Indonesians predominantly travel as families, and have an older age group skew. New Zealand's scenic landscapes and natural attractions are key interests, as are our food and craft markets, vineyards and unique culture.

The market's economic growth, and emergence of low cost airlines, has fuelled demand for outbound travel at 9.7 per cent a year. Visitation to New Zealand is growing at a similar rate, with 12.5 thousand visitors in the year ending May 2013.

And with a high usage of mobile devices and social media, the recently launched market edition of in Bahasa Indonesia will play a key role in providing destination information. This includes insight on getting around, which is key in improving the market's perceptions of ease of seeing and doing things in New Zealand.

The research explores many more areas, and you can access a full copy on our corporate site

First published in Inside Tourism issue 951

Tim Burgess

GM Australia and Indonesia