Expecting a windfall in tourist traffic from the country for the forthcoming Cricket World Cup early next year, Tourism New Zealand has said it would offer free visas-on-arrival to Indians flying down to watch the tournament if they hold Australian visas.
"We will offer free visas-on-arrival to Indians travelling down to our country if they hold Australian visas," Tourism New Zealand country manager for India Neha Bhola said here over the weekend, while announcing a tie-up with the Centrum Group to process visas for the World Cup as cricket fever has catches up in the sub-continent.
Centrum Group, a leading integrated financial and travel services provider, through its travel subsidiary Club 7 Holidays, has been appointed as one of the official visa processing agencies for the World Cup period, Bhola said. Other agencies appointed include Thomas Cook as well as Cox and Kings.
To promote travel, Tourism New Zealand has also entered into a co-operative campaign initiative with Centrum, targeting a large number of high net-worth individuals and corporate clients.
Accordingly, Centrum has already held road shows in Bangalore earlier this month and in Mumbai over the weekend.
"We have been in the business of creating wealth for our clients and managing and through our travel entities, offering them some interesting options to spend money wisely and rejuvenate. Our cooperation with Tourism New Zealand works well as it is in line with their market objectives as well," Centrum Group Managing Director Rajnish Bahl told PTI.
New Zealand is co-hosting the World Cup with Australia beginning next February and March. The event is expected to give a major fillip to the tourist influx to these countries from India where cricket is a religion.
From September 2013 to September 2014, New Zealand recorded 35,000 Indian arrivals, up 17%.
Earlier in November, Tourism New Zealand general manager for Asia David Craig had told PTI he expected a 33% jump in Indians visiting his country for ICC Cup.
"Last year (July 2013-June 2014) we had about 30,000 Indian visitors and we expect about 40,000 visitors this fiscal ending June next," Craig said.
"The World Cup will improve our profile as a tourism destination. For the tournament, we expect 5,000-10,000 if India does well".
The Centrum Group offers integrated financial and travel-related services, and has subsidiaries for broking, wealth management, foreign exchange, infra and reality and travel.