TOURISM New Zealand is devoting its energies to three main markets of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to grow South-east Asian arrivals, which represent a large section of travellers to New Zealand.
Year-on-year arrivals from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand for the year between February 2013 and 2014 has seen positive growth, with Thailand showing the largest improvement of 22.9 per cent (21,008 arrivals), followed by Singapore at 16.6 per cent (42,800) and Malaysia at 4.8 per cent (29,408).
The NTO wants to further expand arrivals and is aiming to do so by targeting solo/couple travellers and affluent independent travellers, as well as high net worth local and expat residents in Singapore.
MICE is likewise on the agenda, and Tourism New Zealand is gunning for more incentives and conferences from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
In an interview with TTG Asia e-Daily, Mischa Mannix-Opie, regional manager South & South-east Asia for Tourism New Zealand, said: “For Singapore, New Zealand remains a popular destination for those wanting to get away from their cosmopolitan lifestyle and looking to experience nature and amazing landscapes. Furthermore, Singaporeans have the financial means to enjoy premium travel, making them a valuable market for New Zealand over the long-term.
“Malaysian tourists to New Zealand, in general, enjoy the self-drive opportunities offered by New Zealand as a holiday destination. Around half of Malaysian visitors (50.3 per cent) travel outside the main regions. It is also a strong market for incentive travel during peak and off-peak seasons in New Zealand.
“Interest in self-drive holidays has always been strong from Thailand, and Tourism New Zealand is seeing increased preference for campervan holidays.”
Mannix-Opie said lack of capacity during New Zealand’s peak summer period was one of the challenges faced by the destination. Another is strong competition from other longhaul destinations popular with Asian travellers, such as the US and Europe.