Tourism New Zealand has unveiled the winners of its inaugural Kaihāpai Awards which celebrate the achievements and commitment of Indian travel agents towards destination New Zealand.
Tourism New Zealand’s objective over the past 14 months has been growing brand love for New Zealand with its trade partners by focusing on engagement and education. This has been achieved via webinars, wherein 10 Virtual Road Trips were conducted with overall attendance of 9000 travel agents across India, paid campaigns (New Zealand Specialist programme) and the launch of a members only/private Facebook group (Tourism New Zealand Travel Agents Facebook group).
The awards were a community celebration for members of Tourism New Zealand’s Indian Travel Agents group on Facebook. The group has drawn significant interest and membership since its launch in June 2020 and recently achieved a milestone of 1000 Indian travel agent members.
The first Kaihāpai Awards saw participation from 232 travel agents and three Tourism New Zealand representatives. The awards are imbued with New Zealand’s culture and values – Kaihāpai translates into being an advocate and the award’s logo represents Whānau (family). Whānau is one of the core Maori beliefs instilled in New Zealanders as they care for their guests as if they were their very own family, a concept which bears a striking similarity to Indian culture. New Zealand is a place where everyone is welcomed and accepted, a tradition passed down by ancestors who taught them to value love, friendship, and camaraderie. When visitors (manuhiri) travel to New Zealand, they are sure to leave the country as family (whānau). The agents are an important part of the extended Whānau (family), working together to make the 100% Pure New Zealand experience the best it can be for our international visitors.
René de Monchy, Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand, added, “India continues to be an important market for us. During the pandemic, our goal has been to continue to keep people dreaming about New Zealand and to keep the trade channel open, so that our agents are trained and educated to sell New Zealand when the opportunity arises. We would like to thank our travel agent partners for their support through these challenging times. I look forward immensely to be able to travel to India, and equally I look forward to welcoming Indians back to New Zealand.”
Steven Dixon, Regional Trade Manager, Asia, Tourism New Zealand, said, “We are truly grateful to our Indian Whānau (family) of agents who have been our supporters from the very beginning in promoting destination New Zealand in India. We will continue to build engagement and upskill knowledge for our Indian partners so that when the time is right and the borders re-open, we can welcome Indian audiences with open arms to New Zealand.”