Kiwi Link South East Asia - Update

By Joy Sajamark, Trade Marketing Manager Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

20 October 2015

CCT together with Tourism West Coast represented the Canterbury and West Coast IMA (International Marketing Alliance) grouping during the Kiwi Link South East Asia (SEA) and Frontline Trainings in October organised by Tourism New Zealand. Kiwi Link SEA was held in Singapore while Frontline Trainings covered Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Jakarta.

Key Market Statistics

  • SEA total arrivals (101k) are up 5% from last year with holidays arrivals (61k) up 9%. Singapore accounts for 47% of SEA arrivals, Malaysia 32% and Thailand 21%.
  • Holiday length of stay differ for each country – Singapore 12.6, Malaysia 15.3 and Thailand 12.1 days while total spend for SEA is approximately $384, average spend $3,244 up 25% from last year.
  • Indonesia is considered an emerging market with total arrivals (16k) are up 13.8% with holiday arrivals (11k) up 20.1% from last year with length of stay is approximately 9.9 days.

Kiwi Link SEA – 5-6 October

During Kiwi Link SEA, CCT had a separate booth from Tourism West Coast so each RTO represented their own region.CCT met with 45 travel agents – 10 from Malaysia, 10 from Singapore, 10 from Indonesia and 15 from Thailand during thetwo days. 

A 15-minute presentation was given to each agent during the one-on-one appointment stream. The most common question was ‘how is Christchurch?’ and they wanted to know what is new, what is the feel of the city. Most were excited about the new hotels opening up as well as the new retail centres – The Crossing and ANZ Centre.

Knowledge level from the agents was quite high for the majority, as SEA is considered a mature market for New Zealand. The exception was Indonesian travel agents where New Zealand is still fairly new to them and most have not been to New Zealand.

Length of stay in Christchurch and the region is 1-2 nights with most staying towards the outskirt of the city as comments were the CBD is very quiet after 5pm. Agents also commented on the slow rebuild of Christchurch.

The hospitality map will be very useful for this market as several asked about different types of cuisine/restaurant as well as Halal food.

Bangkok Frontline Training – 2 October

CCT shared a 30-minute slot with Tourism West Coast to do a presentation on each of our regions. A total of 69 travel agents attended the event with a mix of Managing Directors, General Managers, Product Managers and Frontline staff. Product knowledge level various from table depending on their position. Managing Directors to Product Managers were more engage and several have been to New Zealand several times. While the Frontline staff were quite shy to ask questions and most have yet to visit New Zealand. 

Agents asked about Christchurch rebuild, and specifically the Cathedral. Some visitors are still reluctant to stay in the city centre as feels that there is nothing to do.
Tourism New Zealand also held a networking function for Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners, New Zealand Specialists and industry partners i.e. airlines, INZ, MFAT, NZTE etc and showcased their new TVC – ‘Everyday a Different Journey’.

Malaysia Frontline Training; Kuala Lumpur 7 and Penang 9 October

CCT represented the Canterbury and West Coast IMA to do a 20-minute presentation in each city. CCT met with 100 travel agents in Kuala Lumpur and 78 agents in Penang with a mix of Managing Directors, General Managers, Product Managers and Frontline staff. Product knowledge level various depending on their position and experience. The Kuala Lumpur agents were more engaged than the Penang agents and many has been to New Zealand. 

Agents were really interested to hear that we have a list of Halal restaurants on our website. Many asked about things to do in the city including the yellow free bus that was in service pre Earthquake.

Jakarta Frontline Training – 12 October

CCT represented the Canterbury and West Coast IMA to do a 10-minute presentation. CCT met with 90 travel agents with a mix of Managing Directors, General Managers, Product Managers and Frontline staff. Product knowledge level various and most agents have not been to New Zealand. Level of engagement was quite high throughout the day but unfortunately not very much time for Q&As. Halal food is also very relevant for this market.

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