Sidharth unveils New Zealand highlights in India

A video showcasing the highlights of tourism ambassador Sidharth Malhotra’s visit to New Zealand has been unveiled in India in the run-up to the launch of the country’s 100% Pure New Zealand campaign this month.

There was strong interest in the Tourism New Zealand-led media event in Mumbai with about sixty journalists including entertainment, travel and lifestyle media attending. The Bollywood star talked about his action-packed visit to New Zealand in October 2015 and said he was amazed and humbled by the reception he received.

The highlights video shows Sidharth indulging in his favourite events, including his Skywalk in Auckland, meeting the Prime Minister, hot air ballooning in Queenstown and his visit to Tane Mahuta in Northland.

The media also got their first look of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign which launches in India, 10 February. 

Recounting the best bits of his Kiwi trip, Sidharth told the media: “I was amazed and humbled by the warm hospitality showered on me. I experienced adrenalin at every point of my journey, be it when I was diving into the sea or when I was learning to do the haka. I had many firsts during this trip including my first skydive and a cultural experience such as visiting Tane Mahuta. It’s my privilege to be brand ambassador for Tourism New Zealand and I believe it will strengthen the two countries bond in 2016.”

Steven Dixon, Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for South and South East Asia joined Sidharth for the media event. He said: “We are extremely thrilled to have Sidharth on board as part of the Tourism New Zealand family and are pleased to know that his New Zealand trip has created great conversations about the destination not just in India but in New Zealand as well. Our country experienced the impact of Bollywood when Sidharth was surrounded by fans everywhere he went. He was enthusiastic and eager to explore New Zealand’s offerings, immersing himself in adventure, wine and food and Maori culture.”

Research carried out since Sidharth’s visit show the choice of the Bollywood star as our ambassador to India is proving a huge success, driving strong interest among Indians considering a New Zealand holiday.

During his eight-day visit here, 2.8 million people engaged with Sidharth via social media, including 57,000 people engaging with each of his Facebook posts. Coverage of his visit and following has generated media coverage valued at $4.5m.

India is an important emerging market for New Zealand. Latest international arrival figures show 22,224 Indian visitors came here for a holiday in 2015, up 28.6 per cent on 2014. 

Tourism New Zealand’s brand campaign in India will be followed by campaign work with airline partners like Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways and selected trade partners.