NZ extends Kiwi Link programme

Tourism New Zealand is planning to bring its first trade roadshow to the UAE next year.

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By  Gemma Hornett Published  August 15, 2006

Tourism New Zealand is planning to bring its first trade roadshow to the UAE next year. The tourism body hopes to extend its Kiwi Link India programme – which involves New Zealand’s key travel and tourism partners, visiting agents and operators India-wide in March each year – to include Dubai. “The UAE is so close to India, so it makes sense that we visit [the country] when we run our annual roadshow to this region,” explained Nicola Cunich, UAE manager for Tourism New Zealand. “We are also planning fam trips [to New Zealand] for some of the key tour operators in this region, probably early next year.” Several UAE agents have already taken part in Tourism New Zealand’s online training programme known as Kiwi Specialist. They include Emirates Holidays, Dnata, Kanoo Holidays, Al Arabi Travel and Al Rais Travel, to name but a few. Arrivals from the Middle East to New Zealand for the year to May 2006 were up 4% year-on-year to 16,745, according to Cunich. “Obviously we are moving into a busier travel period and we expect further increases for this summer,” she said. “New Zealand is an emerging destination for this market. The Middle East is mad about Australia, and New Zealand is the perfect add on, but it’s also a great destination in its own right.” Emirates Airlines is paving the way for growth in both markets and now flies three times per day from Australia to Auckland on the North Island and daily to Christchurch on the South Island. It is also considering operating a Singapore-New Zealand route. The diverse and expansive range of activities offered on both islands of New Zealand are the key draw cards for the Arab market, claimed Cunich. “Arab nationals are prepared to do things in New Zealand that they wouldn’t normally try in other countries. There is hard and soft adventure, anything from canyoning, jet boating and bungy jumping, to skiing, hiking and natural springs,” she said. “They also love the weather [in July/August] because it’s winter and the complete opposite to what they get here.”

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