MICE

‘The first step is to build awareness of New Zealand as a business events destination’

When
Tourism New Zealand identified India as one of the three emerging markets
earlier this year, it had announced MICE as one of the key areas of focus.  In June, the then Regional Manager- South & South East Asia, Mischa Mannix-Opie had told India Tourism Review that the
tourism board will be launching a
series of marketing initiatives
for the Indian MICE market in 2014 along with
more strategic partnerships within the travel trade industry. 

As
of now, TNZ has already co-hosted two corporate evenings with Cox & Kings in
order to promote the country as a major MICE destination among Indian business
groups. It has been promoting the country as a convenient and affordable destination
for MICE equipped with necessary infrastructure and facilities. 

To know more about the initiatives and activities that the board has
planned in this direction, we talked to the newly appointed General Manager-
Asia
, David Craig. Here is an excerpt of the interview: 

Please
share with us the number of Indians who travel to New Zealand for MICE and how
have these figures changed over the years.

Over the year ended August 2014, Tourism
New Zealand saw 34,736 arrivals from the Indian market of which 16,320 were
holiday arrivals. The year-end total is an increase of 16.3% as compared to the
same period of the previous year. 

How
important is India as a source market for MICE tourism? Please share with us
your expectations from the market in the long run
.

MICE is a key focus sector for Tourism
New Zealand across all our markets, including India, over the next three years.
 New Zealand is focused on attracting
higher-value visitors, and the business events and incentives markets both
generate a higher spend per visitor than regular holiday makers. 

India is one of the world’s fastest
growing economies and we are expecting steady growth in the incentive travel
segment from this market in the upcoming years. 

The first step is to build awareness of
New Zealand as a business events destination, rather than just a great place to
have a holiday, and we’re pleased to have really seen this happening across
South and South East Asia.  

What
are your major selling points? Are there specific properties and destinations
in New Zealand which exclusively cater to the MICE market?

New Zealand business events go beyond
convention.New Zealand not only offers a picturesque backdrop to a business
event, but also has state-of-the-art conference facilities across both the
North and South Islands. With Indian companies increasingly looking at overseas
incentive and team-building destinations, the destination offers an array of very
unique activities and experiences that can be customized to fit a group’s
budget and objective. 

The destination is a great place for
MICE travel, and is able to cater to events up to 2,000 people. There are
outstanding venues from hotels to purpose-built convention centres spread
across both North Island and South Island – all staffed by people who showcase
New Zealand’s very warm hospitality. New Zealand caters well for events of up
to 2,000 delegates. As well as this, three new convention centres are set to be
built before 2018. 

Currently, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua
and Wellington in the North Island and Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown in
the South Island are preferred by Indian corporates for incentive travel. 

Till
now you have co-hosted two corporate evenings with Cox & Kings in two major
Indian cities. How was the response?

We co-hosted corporate evenings with Cox
and Kings in Bangalore and Delhi and have seen a positive response to our
offerings from a majority of the corporates. The event was also an opportunity
for corporates to understand and get acquainted with the activities that teams
can engage in beyond the conference venue during incentive travel in New
Zealand. 

How
do you get your MICE traffic? Is it primarily through the Indian travel trade?
What are the initiatives you have undertaken to engage with the Indian travel
trade to boost your destination’s MICE tourism?
 

We maintain a strong relationship with
the Indian travel trade fraternity. Tourism New Zealand has a number of
initiatives to engage with the Indian travel trade, which include marketing
campaign partnerships, trade training, familiarization opportunities, and
events, such as attendance at SATTE and Tourism New Zealand’s own organized
event, Kiwi Link India. 

When it comes to connectivity and
formalities to travel to New Zealand, how hassle-free is it for groups to
travel to the country and between various destinations?

We have various trade and airline
partnerships that make New Zealand a more accessible destination for Indian
travellers. The campaigns and offers that are a result of these partnerships
make New Zealand a hassle free destination for travel.

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