New Zealand becoming a major tourist attraction for Malaysians

New Zealand becoming a major tourist attraction for Malaysians

When you hear the name New Zealand, quickly it reminds us the famous rugby team All Blacks and the ‘Haka war’ dance that displays a deep Maori culture which makes us explore more.

New Zealand or also known as Aotearoa in The Maori language is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean.

The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (or Te Ika-a-Mui), and the South Island (or Te Waipounamu) and around 600 smaller islands.

Those who enjoyed watching Lord of the Ring trilogy, most of the film shooting was also taken there.

The list of beautiful places to visit New Zealand can keep on coming, there is nothing fascinating to experience on your own.

New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life.

Last week, the New Zealand and Malaysian government celebrating 60 years of bi-lateral relationship organised an event at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur to give an experience into New Zealand’s tourist places, education and trade opportunity as well as on the dairy products, chocolates and much more.

To get a better understanding of the role of New Zealand tourism, Asia News Today (ANT) managed to get some feedback that will be useful for any Malaysians.

Tourism New Zealand spokesperson, Steven Dixon who is the Regional Manager South and South East Asia did correspond with ANT via e-mail.

Q1. In order for Malaysians to visit New Zealand, what are the initiatives taken to do promotion?

A: The major tool we use to promote New Zealand is the 100% Pure New Zealand marketing campaign, a campaign that has evolved over the past 16 years to make New Zealand one of the world’s most well-respected tourism brands.

International tourism has grown to become New Zealand’s largest earner of foreign exchange, pumping around NZD14.5 billion annually into the nation’s economy. Over 3.6 million visitors arrive in the country every year.

Understandably, an industry of this magnitude does not grow by itself. In a fiercely contested global tourism marketplace, Tourism New Zealand is responsible for ensuring New Zealand remains attractive internationally as a visitor destination.

Through the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign we take New Zealand’s story to consumers, the travel trade and the global media while working with the industry here in New Zealand to ensure we deliver on the promises made through the campaign.


Q2. New Zealand is such a beautiful place, in a nutshell where you will advise first-time travellers to visit? 

A: It really depends on what type of traveller you are and how long you have to explore New Zealand.  Our advice to first timers would be to do research about your trip in advance and prioritise the activities that are ‘must dos’ for you personally – whether that be seeing a particular sight or landmark or taking part in an adventure activity.  Travellers can use our official website  which is an excellent resource for planning or talk to one of the great New Zealand specialist travel agents in Malaysia.

Q3. Based on statistics, will you be able to reveal the no of Malaysian visitors to New Zealand. (Mainly as a tourist)

A: Over 55,760 Malaysians visited New Zealand in the year ending September 2017 (+24.1% year on year), representing a 68 percent growth in 2 years (since 2015), with holiday arrivals almost doubling in the same period.

Holiday arrivals year ending September were 40,352 (+28.9% year on year). This is also one of the highest percentage increases in holiday arrivals from Asia to New Zealand.

Q4. Do you have an NZ tourism office in Kuala Lumpur? If yes any initiatives were taken by them? 

A: Tourism New Zealand operates a regional office in Singapore which services South and South East Asia – including Malaysia.

Some of the initiatives we undertake in Malaysia include:

Agent training

  • We hold regular travel agent training in Malaysia as part of the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme, which increases their knowledge of New Zealand.
  • This programme features a Gold, Silver and Bronze tier structure, and provides specialists with the opportunity to list their offerings on Tourism New Zealand’s main marketing channel –
  • Depending on whether the seller falls under Bronze, Silver or Gold, they will receive a preferential listing on the website – the higher the status, the higher up the page the seller will feature.  Specialists’ contact details are listed on Tourism New Zealand’s consumer website newzealand.comwhich is viewed over 30 million times a year.
  • Selected travel agents are also brought to New Zealand on familiarisation (family) trips to experience the product they are selling to their clients.


Marketing and PR

  • Since 2015, Tourism New Zealand has also placed a strong focus on a suite of PR activities including regularly pitching in rich content with a focus to tell a deeper story about a New Zealand holiday. For FY2018-19, we have also activated the International Media Programme in Malaysia.


Halal Food Guide

  • Last year, we launched the Tourism New Zealand Halal Food Guide in partnership with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) and the Kiwi Muslim Directory.
  • The aim of launching this guide was to provide Muslim travellers, including those in Malaysia, an overview of all the halal food options available in New Zealand so that they can have memorable experiences enjoying some of the best food New Zealand has to offer.


Q5. On the report the highest number of refusal at border entry are Malaysians, can the immigration comment on this?

Early this month, revealed based on a report that Malaysians are the highest in facing refusal at New Zealand border entry.

ANT managed to get a response and Peter Devoy Assistant General Manager, Immigration New Zealand said:“The refused entry figures need to be viewed in the broader context of the number of visitor arrivals by nationality, the availability of direct air routes and New Zealand’s proximity to other countries.

“New Zealand is an increasingly popular destination for visitors from Asia. For example, China is now the largest source of overseas visitors to New Zealand after Australia and Statistics New Zealand figures show Malaysia was the eighth largest source of overseas visitors in the year to the end of June with more than 41,000 Malaysians coming here.

“Immigration New Zealand (INZ) works very closely with overseas authorities – including those in Malaysia a – to manage and mitigate any identified risks associated with passengers intending to travel to New Zealand.”

** Special Report by Ramani