Ways to tap into Indian visitor growth

Press Release – Tourism New Zealand

Opportunities to capitalise on the increasing number of international arrivals from India are contained in a study commissioned by Tourism New Zealand on visitor needs and expectations.Tourism New Zealand research identifies ways to tap into Indian visitor growth

Opportunities to capitalise on the increasing number of international arrivals from India are contained in a study commissioned by Tourism New Zealand on visitor needs and expectations.

The Asia Visitor Study was commissioned to determine if New Zealand’s current tourism offering met consumer demand and expectations, and to identify the sectors or products that required further development to deliver high visitor satisfaction.

The research suggests New Zealand tourism operators can benefit from the opportunity Indian tourists present by better targeting this market and providing what they need and want.

Speaking from India, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the research showed that in general visitors from India were happy with their experiences in New Zealand but more could be done.

“The research suggested Indian tourists are very interested in undertaking some moderate adventure activity during their trip to New Zealand and often prefer self-drive holidays. They love kiwi culture and appreciate our friendly, relaxed nature. They want this culture to be reflected in their trip, with planned-out trips with lots of activities, but in a few destinations.

Mr Bowler said relatively simple changes such as less of the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to customer service, a greater variety of Indian food on menus; particularly at breakfast and a greater range of attractions opening later would make a real difference.

“We know Indian visitors appreciate good levels of service and experiences being well-planned for them, and they like to continue their New Zealand experience beyond 5pm. While a high proportion of visitors are vegetarian, they also want to experience New Zealand food but as meals are very different to what is familiar, they do like to know where the food came from and any story behind it.”

In the year to May 2011, 30,000 international visitors arrived from India, up 13 per cent on the previous year.

Other findings

• Indian visitors often enjoy romantic tourism experiences such as sunset walks, romantic alfresco dining overlooking the sea, mountains or waterfalls or couple based day spas.

• Indians generally have their main meal at lunch time, so tourism operators catering for visitors from India are encouraged to have generous meals available.

• Indian’s know that New Zealand is one of the world’s major seafood producers and they look forward to experiencing our fresh seafood.

• Visitors from India often seek 4* and 5* accommodation.

• Many visitors prefer not to have early morning departures and are happy to be still doing activities at 7pm.

• Indian tourists expect information to be readily available and are dependent on travel agent advice before they leave and regularly use i-SITEs when in New Zealand.

The study, which also included China, Singapore and Malaysia, was based on range of interviews of departing visitors from New Zealand.

“Visitors from throughout the Asian region have different expectations from those of our traditional western visitors. By better understanding what the visitor desires; tourism business are more likely to benefit from the unprecedented growth in international arrivals from Asia,” said Mr Bowler.

For the year ended May 2011, Chinese visitors’ arrivals increased 27.5 per cent to 130,408, while Malaysia and Singapore grew by 32.7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

A full copy of the research report is available online

ENDS

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