Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) recently concluded a round of roadshows in four countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore – in South-east Asia, as it seeks to broaden its pool of key visitor markets to support the long-term growth of its tourism sector.
Gregg Wafelbakker, general manager Asia, TNZ, stated: “Visitors from South-east Asia support Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to attract high quality visitors who contribute positively to our economy, environment, culture, and communities.”
According to Tourism New Zealand’s Active Considerers (AC) research, 35 per cent of the Malaysian adult online population are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday, equating to approximately 6.9 million people. In fact, 44 per cent of ACs say New Zealand is their first choice of the next destination to visit.
Over in Indonesia, 37 per cent of the Indonesian adult online population are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday, equating to approximately 37.3 million people. Within this AC pool, there is a sizeable opportunity to target high-spend visitors – 40 per cent of the pool are budgeting to spend more than 35 million rupiah per person (US$2,198), which is a “valuable source market”, noted Wafelbakker. Moreover, 52 per cent of ACs say New Zealand is their first choice of the next destination to visit.
In Thailand, 24 per cent of the Thailand adult online population are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday, equating to approximately 7.8 million people. Within the Thailand AC pool, there is also a sizeable opportunity to target high-spend visitors, as 37 per cent of the pool are budgeting to spend more than 120,000 baht per person (US$3,305), which is “twice the minimum spend criteria”, noted Wafelbakker.
In Singapore, its AC incidence is higher than other key markets that TNZ targets, equating to approximately one million Singaporeans. The appeal of New Zealand as a holiday destination has increased since October 22, which has supported the recent growth of the incidence of ACs at 27 per cent.
Aside from sellers meeting with buyers – several of which have not been to New Zealand themselves – in the four countries, TNZ is actively promoting the destination through media and social media.
When asked how TNZ is catering to Muslim-majority outbound travellers from Indonesia and Malaysia, Wafelbakker said: “Some efforts that New Zealand have made to welcome Muslim travellers include developing a comprehensive halal food guide – in partnership with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand – and Kiwi Muslim Directory. We also share about tour operators which provide halal tours in New Zealand.”
A buyer at the Singapore roadshow, Siti Aishah, travel manager with Azza Travel & Tours, shared that although she has never been to New Zealand, her perception is that the country is easy to travel around for Muslim visitors.
“It is easy to sell New Zealand and offer Muslim-friendly options. Compared to Japan and South Korea, English is widely spoken. Farm visits with sheep shearing, easy access to halal food, child-friendly facilities, nature experiences (which more Singaporeans are into post-Covid) and the many adventure activities, all appeal to Muslim travellers. In fact, I am currently planning for several group tours in 2024,” she said.