Indian travellers urged to “get up close and personal with Mother Nature”

Tourism New Zealand, Auckland International Airport and Malaysian Airlines have joined forces in a campaign to boost travel from India to New Zealand.

The campaign comes as Malaysian Airlines prepares to increase its flight frequency from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland, from six to seven flights weekly beginning 30 March.

Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager South and South East Asia Mischa Mannix-Opie says because the Indian summer coincides with a New Zealand winter, many travellers look for opportunities to escape the heat and enjoy a change of scene.

"With no direct air services between New Zealand and India, the effort made by Malaysian Airlines to increase accessibility for travellers, is welcomed," she says.

The online campaign invites families and couples to get "up close and personal with Mother Nature" and offers special fares to Auckland on Malaysian Airlines.

Mischa explains that New Zealand is also riding a wave of increased profile following the Indian Cricket team's tour of the country and with the build-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 already underway.

"Our research with people already considering New Zealand shows that 73 per cent of them could recall our recent print campaign and 95 per cent of those who had seen it, said it improved their opinion of New Zealand as a holiday destination.

"And a good reminder of the importance of cricket to the market - 50 per cent of those surveyed know that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be held in New Zealand and 62% are interested in attending."

Tourism New Zealand has identified India as a priority emerging market, and has increased investment in the market as a result of additional funding provided in the May 2013 budget.

The increased activity is about targeting those countries that, despite the small volume of current arrivals, offer the greatest potential for future growth.

By spending now 'ahead of the arrivals curve', the organisation is seeking to stimulate demand while preparing the industry to be well placed to respond when preference for New Zealand turns into greater numbers of visitors.