Tag Archives: New Zealand

New Zealand approves new tourist tax of US$23 effective July 1

The New Zealand parliament has approved a new tourist tax, which will be effective from July 1. Most international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged an additional fee of $35 NZD or about $23 USD. The new tax will be collected through the immigration system, the government said. Travellers will pay the IVL alongside visa or ETA fees. The new legislation enables the collection of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) as well as digital processing of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). The NZeTA—which is designed to “improve the way travellers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand” to strengthen border security, according to the country’s immigration website—will be mandatory starting October 1. Australian citizens, permanent residents and people from many Pacific Island countries will be exempted from the IVL. In a statement, Kevin Davis, Tourism Minister, New Zealand said, “The IVL is an investment in New Zealand. It is expected to raise over $450 million over five years, funding projects to ensure our country and our people get the best from tourism growth. Our international visitors will be contributing directly to the infrastructure they use and helping to protect the natural places they enjoy.” New Zealand experienced a nearly 4 per cent jump in international arrivals last year, according to data from Tourism New Zealand.

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Thai Airways to operate triple daily from Delhi to Bangkok from February 3

Thai Airways will operate triple daily making a total of 21 flights a week from Delhi to Bangkok and beyond. The additional day flights starting from February 3, 2019 will offer more options to passengers travelling to destinations within Thailand (Phuket and Chiang-Mai), Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China, Australia and New Zealand. Increase in services to Bangkok will enable the airline to capitalise on the steadily growing round-the-year demand on the highly popular sector, offering guests greater flexibility and choice throughout the day, and helping create a far superior and well-differentiated travel experience for them. Thamanoon Kuprasert, General Manager – India, Thai Airways, said, “Being the first service provider to Thailand from Delhi, Thai Airways has sustained itself successfully in Delhi since 1969 by offering world-class reliable services to passengers for Thailand, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is our endeavour to ensure that our passengers enjoy a comfortable and happy journey on THAI. We are constantly improvising as per customers’ expectations.”

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India offers visa on arrival for South Korean nationals

India has decided to offer visa on arrival to South Korean nationals, a home ministry official said. Like the Japanese nationals (who have been getting the privilege since March 2016), the facility to South Korean citizens include double entry visit for a period not exceeding 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes for entry through six designated international airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. According to an estimate, around 2 lakh Indian visas are issued to South Korean nationals every year, of which 80 per cent are tourists. On an average, 600 South Korean nationals arrive in Delhi daily. Though visa-on-arrival facility was earlier offered to citizens of 12 countries — Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea — it was discontinued in November 2014 after the launch of e-Tourist Visa scheme. The e-visa facility now covers practically all the countries of the world, 166 as of now, and foreigners can arrive at any of the designated 26 airports and five seaports in India without interacting with any official before checking in at the immigration counter. Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a printout of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then allow entry into the country. Source: PTI

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Indian visitor arrivals double from 33k-66k in four years for New Zealand

The total visitor arrivals from India to New Zealand have doubled from 33,000 to 66,000 in the past four years, with more Indians visiting the country than ever before. In recognition of this incredible growth, Tourism New Zealand is expanding its annual travel trade event, Kiwi Link India, this year. The new format will see the organisation and partners hosting key buyers from around India in Mumbai from July 9-10, followed by frontline training in Bangalore and New Delhi from July 12-13 respectively. Kiwi Link serves as a platform for Indian travel agents, product managers and planners to interact with New Zealand operators and understand the new developments and market insights in the tourism sector. Kiwi Link 2018 will see participation from record 40 New Zealand operators, along with three airlines – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, Immigration New Zealand and 72 Indian delegates from 49 travel companies. More than 50 Indian participants are expected to attend the frontline training programme which will be conducted in the Bengaluru and New Delhi markets. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager-South and South-East Asia, Tourism New Zealand said, “The record number of New Zealand operators visiting India to participate in Kiwi Link this year is a real reflection on the value we place on the market. This event provides an opportunity for both new and experienced tourism operators to develop an alliance with vital travel decision makers, thus enabling them to drive sales out of India.”

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New Zealand to levy tourist tax on visitors from mid-2019

New Zealand has announced plans to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom. Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in April this year. “This rapid growth has impacted the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” said Kelvin Davis Tourism minister. “Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to car parks,”Davis said. A tax of NZ$25-35 (US$17-24) would be imposed on international visitors from the middle of next year while price hikes for immigration fees and visas will take effect this November. Australians and most Pacific Island forum countries will be exempt from the new charges. Tourism is a key pillar of the New Zealand economy and the new tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80 million in its first year, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation initiatives. The main opposition National Party claimed the new tax system would make New Zealand a “less attractive” destination. But Davis believed the impact on tourist numbers would be minimal. “When you’re talking about the additional cost to, say, someone coming from the United States who are already paying about NZ$1,200, an extra NZ$25-NZ$30 isn’t going to make that much of a difference,” he said. Source: AFP

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Sports tourism industry in India witnesses 10-12% growth

Sports tourism is witnessing 10-12 per cent growth as Indians are showing more enthusiasm for visiting a country to attend sports event, according to industry experts. “Globally, sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to estimates, global sports tourism was worth USD 7 billion in 2017. While it is a mature industry overseas, in India it is in infancy (stage),” says Karan Anand, Head of Relationships, Cox and Kings. The first love for Indians is cricket and they travel to watch the game, whether in India or overseas, he added. “There has also been a shift in the interest for other sporting events like the Soccer World Cup or the Olympics. We see 10-12 per cent growth in arrivals to these destinations, when a major sporting event takes place,” he said. Indians travel to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England to watch cricket matches. However, over the last 10 years, there is a growing interest to watch the Olympics, the Soccer World Cup and Grand Prix Formula One motor events. The Olympics or Soccer World Cup are highlights for Indians and they love the atmosphere associated with the games, Anand said, adding that there are people who travel to specific sporting events during the Olympics or a few of them only travel for the opening ceremony. He said this segment is primarily dominated by men who come together to watch the sporting event. Source: PTI

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New Zealand launches new visa process for Indian visitors

Tourism New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand have launched an extension of the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme to facilitate faster processing of visitor visa applications for Indian leisure travellers. Riding on the success of the previous partnership between Immigration New Zealand (INZ), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and key travel agents, the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme has now been extended to leisure agents. The previous programme was launched in November 2014 and focussed on the business and incentive travel sector. With this new arrangement, Indian leisure travellers will benefit from a more streamlined visa service, with a faster processing time of three days, compared to the previous online application processing time of 15 days. Steven Dixon, Regional Manager, South and South-East Asia, Tourism New Zealand said, “This new visa process will make it even easier for Indian travellers to experience New Zealand.  India is an important market for Tourism New Zealand and it is pleasing to see the increase in the number of Indians choosing New Zealand as their favoured destination. This agreement will ensure that New Zealand welcomes even more high calibre visitors.” Commenting on this, Marcelle Foley, Head, Operations Immigration New Zealand said, “We have enjoyed the opportunity to partner with Tourism New Zealand and key players in the Indian travel trade to make it even easier for Indian business event travellers to visit New Zealand. ”

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Vietnam extends e-visa scheme to India

Vietnam has expanded its e-visa scheme to cover visitors from six more countries, including major tourism markets like Australia and India, taking the total number of countries now to 46. Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UAE are the other four. Vietnam began allowing tourists from 40 countries to apply for e-visas last February, with China, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK, Germany and Sweden — all major target markets for its tourism sector, among the 40. Of the six new additions, Australians are the seventh biggest group of foreign arrivals and among the top spenders. Visitors can apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa by paying a non-refundable application fee. It will take applicants three working days to find out if their visa applications have been approved. Visitors with e-visas can enter through eight international airports, 13 international border gates on land or seven ports. Source: Vietnam News  

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New Zealand ties up with two airlines to boost tourism

New Zealand has witnessed a steady increase in arrivals from India with 53,424 travellers visiting there as of March 2017, a 14.9 per cent growth from same period last year. To further boost the Indian tourist numbers, Tourism New Zealand is tying up with two airlines to promote the island country in the India sub-continent. The partnership between Tourism New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand is valid from May 2017 to April 2018 and will seek to position Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines as the preferred carriers for travelling to the country and promotional fares will be offered to passengers. The strategic partnership aims to encourage more travellers from key cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram and Vishakhapatnam. “New Zealand is the ultimate destination for many Indian travellers and special promotional fares provide a great opportunity to turn their dream holiday into reality,” said Tourism New Zealand regional manager, South and South East Asia, Steven Dixon. Elaborating on the initiative, David Lim, General Manager, India, said, “We offer 98 weekly connections from 11 cities in India to Singapore and together with our partner – Air New Zealand, we provide over 25 weekly, onward connections to three cities (Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington) in New Zealand.” Scott Carr, Regional General Manager-Asia, Air New Zealand, said, “India is one of our fastest-growing emerging markets and we’re excited about the potential of this campaign to reach more Indian travellers. Through our alliance and code share services with Singapore Airlines, we connect passengers from 11 Indian cities to Singapore, where they can access three non-stop flights a day to New Zealand.”

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Jet eases student travel for new academic year

Jet Airways has expanded the scope of its popular eduJetter programme for upcoming 2017-18 academic year. The revised program will make it easier for Indian students and those from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal – holding confirmed admissions for studying at universities/ institutions in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the USA, to commence their new academic journey. Effective this year, privileges include special baggage allowance of up to 69 kg, free SIM cards (with exclusive calling rates), and through baggage check-in up to the final destination. Participating students also receive a free ISIC Forex Card  that offers easy and safe access to foreign exchange besides enjoying a five per cent discount on JetEscapes Holidays. Jet Airways has also simplified the entire process of eduJetter application and booking, as part of widening the appeal of the programme. The new, automatic application process is user-friendly and allows students to apply in three steps – book a flight ticket, visit the EduJetter page on the Jet Airways website to fill an online request form. The student then receives  an updated ticket from the airline with applicable eduJetter benefits within 72 hours. Commenting on the programme and its enhancements, Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Jet Airways  has always endeavored to provide exceptional value to guests by way of special programmes and partnerships. EduJetter is one such initiative that offers tremendous value to the student community travelling abroad for higher education from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, in the form of a bouquet of services that have been specially created by anticipating their needs at this significant moment in their life.”

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