Holiday arrivals from India take flight

A record number of Indian travel agents attended Tourism New Zealand’s annual Kiwi Link trade event in Mumbai this month as arrivals from this key market continue to grow - doubling in the past four years.

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager South and South East Asia, Steven Dixon says the two-day event provides a unique opportunity for New Zealand tourism operators to educate and build relationships with key travel sellers in India.

“Kiwi Link India is a key trade training event in Tourism New Zealand’s calendar. It is an opportunity for both new and experienced operators to develop relationships with travel agents to increase their sales out of India.

“Preference for New Zealand in India is very high and this preference is converting into holiday arrivals. In the past year alone holiday arrivals from India have increased by 19.2 percent so it’s no surprise that there was an increase in registrations for Kiwi Link this year. Indian travel agents are eager to learn more about New Zealand’s unique offerings.”

Following Kiwi Link Tourism New Zealand held training events for more than 50 travel agents in Bengaluru and New Delhi which 26 of the New Zealand operators stayed on to participate in.

“Bengaluru and New Delhi are important source cities for us and are both showing strong growth. We recently increased our presence in New Delhi to ensure we are reaching our key target market of independent professionals in Northern India.”

Mr. Vishal Hindocha, Founder, The Long White Cloud, says he found the events very valuable.

"Kiwi Link India turned out to be an excellent platform for a start up like ourselves to get introduced to the biggest names in hotels, activities, airlines and other operators from the tourism industry in New Zealand.

“Attending the front line training event in Bangalore allowed the sales and digital marketing team to get some first-hand and unique insights into locations, geography, weather and fun facts about activities and travel within New Zealand. I am sure this event will help us make our products better.”

Mr. Samir Kachwala, Associate Vice-President, Product Development-GIT, Thomas Cook (I) Ltd said the events allowed him to discuss new ideas and business opportunities with New Zealand operators face to face.

“New Zealand is a strategic destination for us at Thomas Cook India and hence Kiwi Link formed an invaluable platform that enabled me meet key-existing and potential partners, discuss new and viable ideas, sort out challenges and jointly come up with new business opportunities for our diverse customer segments.”

Ms. Nagsri Prasad Sashidhar - Head Outbound Holidays, Mercury Travels limited says Kiwi Link India is an event she looks forward to every year.

It’s always lovely to catch up with friends from ‘Kiwi land’ who have now become family over the last decade and more since Kiwi Link first started; to get an update about the existing products, product upgrades and new experiences; and to meet with new kiwi partners and thereby increase our bouquet of experiences we can offer to our clients”.

In attendance at Kiwi Link India this year there was a record 40 New Zealand tourism operators, three airlines - Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, Immigration New Zealand, and 72 Indian travel agents from 49 different companies.