NZ outpaces Australia in India market

NZ outpaces Australia in India market
By admin

New Zealand continues to grow in popularity for Indian travellers, as Australia faces challenges despite efforts to ramp up marketing by Tourism Australia.

Managing director of Mumbai-based Namaste Tours, Subhash Motwani, told Travel Today that while sales of Australian holidays used to form a significant portion of the firm's business, they have fallen by between 60% to 70% as a "series of issues" have taken their toll on demand.

The withdrawal of direct air connectivity by Qantas and poor connection times through the hubs were highlighted as a major factor for the decline by Motwani.

While he was doubtful the much talked about direct Air India services would go ahead, he added that even if they did, they would fly from Delhi and would therefore not stimulate the Mumbai market.

He also referred to the effect of the strong dollar, violent incidents involving Indian students and a change in the management of TA's Indian team.

However, the major threat to Australian growth in the market appears to be coming from neighbouring New Zealand which has rocketed in popularity in recent years.

"Sales of New Zealand holidays now outnumber Australian three to one," Motwani said.

Self-drive and honeymoon itineraries are most popular in NZ, with Motwani emphasising that a journey from Auckland to Christchurch can be undertaken by road in around two weeks, fitting in with busy work schedules and school holidays. However, because of Australia's size, it is more difficult to travel from city to city by car.

There is also increased competition from other destinations, such as Turkey following the start of direct Turkish Airlines services between Mumbai and Istanbul.

However, Motwani was hopeful demand would recover, but urged TA to boost its presence in the market.

"We should be selling much more Australia given the range of experiences on offer there," he said.



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