The new joint venture partnership, launched by Tourism New Zealand last month, aims to achieve 50,000 arrivals from India by 2017.
New Zealand is currently high on Indian travellers' radars following its role as co-host of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, an event that has not only showcased India and New Zealand's sporting ties, but also the unique tourism experiences available in New Zealand.
Speaking about the new partnership Steven Dixon, Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager South and South East Asia, said:
"The Cricket World Cup provided us with a fantastic opportunity to capture the attention of the Indian market. To say India is cricket-mad would be an understatement - all eyes were tuned in for the action on screen with more than a billion global viewers.
"The joint venture campaign plays to this attention and will work to convert the interest generated around the tournament and our marketing activity in India in recent months, to encourage an even greater number of Indian travellers to make their New Zealand dream holiday a reality.
The partnership launched with a campaign promoting special fares from various cities in India to Auckland, from as little as INR 60,762 (NZD$ 1,323.81) - for travel between March and September 2015.
Tourism New Zealand scaled up its activity in the emerging market in the run up to the Cricket World Cup - including appointing former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming as tourism ambassador in the region, after he travelled through India and Sri Lanka with a 15-strong delegation on a Cricket World Cup promotional mission last November.
During the competition, Tourism New Zealand hosted a group of senior Indian travel sellers at directors and owner level, who were taken around the country - visiting Northland, Wellington, Wairarapa and Canterbury, as well as receiving product training at a day run by New Zealand's International Marketing Alliances (IMAs). A highlight was a cricket match at Hobbiton with cricketing legends Stephen Fleming and Sir Richard Hadlee.
Says Steven: "Tourism New Zealand has witnessed steady growth in visitors from India and the market holds great potential. As at February 2015, New Zealand's arrivals from India were 39,168 - an increase of 24.6 per cent on the previous year."
The new partnership with Thai Airways and Auckland Airport aims to further increase preference for New Zealand amongst families and young professionals, with a particular focus on Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad.