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Indian tourists prefer to holiday in New Zealand

21 February 2007

More and more Indian tourists are heading to New Zealand. Official figures show that, in 2006-2007, 20,946 Indians spent an average of 13.8 days in New Zealand – representing a growth of 8.3% over the previous year.

Most visitors to New Zealand opt to stay in 4-star or 5-star hotels, luxury lodges, and boutique accommodation. They spend, on an average, NZ $3,425 (Rs 105,782), excluding airfare, per person per trip. This spending is higher than the average of NZ $3,115 (Rs 96,304) spent in New Zealand by tourists from other countries.

Statistics show that most Indians spend 4 days in Auckland and Rotorua in North Island, 7 days in South Island, touring Christchurch, Mount Cook, Queenstown, and Milford Sound.

It has been found that many young couples prefer to spend about 2 weeks in South Island alone.

Kiran Nambiar, Tourism New Zealand's India Manager, was quoted as saying,“About 65% of Indian travelers do only New Zealand whereas 40% take specialised tours combining New Zealand with Australia. April to June are the most popular months for small family groups. Honeymooners and young couples travel all through the year."

The main factors that make New Zealand appealing to Indians are possibly different leisure activities, favourable weather, ease with English, and a competitive dollar.

Leisure activities include jet-boating, whale-watching, and dolphin-watching, hot-air balloon rides and adventure sports like skydiving and bungee-jumping.

An Indian honeymooning couple, according to Kiran Nambiar, spends on an average 2 weeks touring across New Zealand, staying in 4-star accommodation and spending a few days in a luxury lodge. Families normally go for apartments with cooking facilities.

That New Zealand is sparsely populated gives honeymooning couples a chance to spend quiet time together.

It may be noted that readers of Wanderlust, leading travel magazine in the United Kingdom, have voted New Zealand as the top country to travel to. New Zealand received 96.86% satisfaction points, followed closely by Madagascar and Namibia.

Tourism New Zealand is expecting a rise of 10% to 15% in visitor arrivals from India in 2008.

Simultaneously, there has been an increase in the number of New Zealanders traveling to India – with 19% more trips to India in December 2007 compared to the same period the previous year, according to Statistics New Zealand.





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