New Zealand pulls closer to South-east Asia

TOURISM New Zealand has decided to base its newly appointed regional manager South-east Asia and India in Singapore, in a bid to enhance existing partnerships with airlines and travel trade partners in the region.

Mischa Mannix, currently Tourism New Zealand business development manager based in Auckland, will replace Kiran Nambiar, the former incumbent based in Mumbai, in December.

Staff at the NTO’s offices in Mumbai and Bangkok will report to Mannix.

Mark Frood, general manager Asia Markets, Tourism New Zealand, said the NTO’s decision to move its regional manager to Singapore “was not a strategic one”.

“More airlines, including low-cost carriers, now offer flights and greater capacity to New Zealand from India and South-east Asia. We thought that it was the right time to centralise our marketing activities (for South-east Asia and India) in Singapore, which is the region’s prime aviation hub, alongside Bangkok,” he explained.

“It was the most sensible course of action to take, as we wanted to be closer to both our trade and airline partners.”

The NTO is looking to expand the team in Singapore before long, with a marketing & communications hire the first priority.

Meanwhile, Tourism New Zealand is in the midst of carving out its marketing plan for 2012-13.

While Frood declined to elaborate on future plans, he did reveal that the NTO would focus on marketing its niche products, such as wine, gastronomy, boat trips and self-drive tours, to South-east Asians and Indians in the coming year.

According to Frood, visitor arrivals from India and Malaysia are growing strongly, while the Singapore market, which was flat a few years before, is starting to pick up again.

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