Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester announced the formal launch of the INZBC Summit 2018, at an event held at WelTec’s Hospitality School, in Wellington on 7th August 2018. After four successful years, from 2014-17, the India NZ Business Council (INZBC) is again bringing global leaders together under one roof at the INZBC Summit 2018. The focus of the Summit this year will be on Tourism, Aviation and Technology.
Mayor Lester commented on the need for Wellington to increase international linkages.
“Singapore Airlines has done this through a link to Wellington via Melbourne but more would be better. We would like more tourists and businesses coming to Wellington, as Wellington provides advantages of cheaper housing, the highest educated work force and is home to some great companies like Xero”.
The Mayor outlined various developments in transport and housing to increase Wellington’s accessibility. The proposed Movie Museum will add to tourism stocks and make Wellington a must-see destination. He noted the importance of culture which is central to Wellington’s identity as Cultural Capital - more international visitors, including students will enhance that cultural connection, increasing Wellington’s growing reputation as a place of acceptance and diversity.
Chris Gosling, Chief Executive, WelTec and Whitireia, said that the link between India and NZ has been strong over 30 years, and noted that the benefit to all students – international and domestic, from exposure to international education cannot be denied. Mr Gosling said that Whitireia and WelTec are proud to be associated with the INZBC Summit, and the connections and opportunities provided by networking with New Zealand and Indian leaders at the Summit.
Expanding on the theme of the upcoming summit, there was a panel discussion on Tourism and Aviation by industry experts Chris Roberts (Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Aotearoa) and John Nicholson (Chief Executive, Aviation NZ) moderated by Jamie Smiler (WelTec Academic and Researcher in Tourism)
Chris Roberts emphasised the importance of the Indian tourism market to New Zealand; while currently 2% of overall visitors to New Zealand the Indian market continues to grow and is expected to double over the next five years. “ Indian visitors stay a long time and visit many areas of New Zealand. The Indian visitor is the ‘value visitor’ that New Zealand is keen to attract”, said Chris. Chris elaborated on the range of products to suit the Indian market, but pointed out that there is a long way to go in understanding and catering to the Indian market - “Indian travellers range from the Great Grandma to babies and tend to travel in family groups. May is when Indian visitors like to travel, so it fits with New Zealand’s off peak period, and these tourism dollars are the most valuable to the industry and to New Zealand”
Chris further commented on training opportunities for tourism and hospitality, noting that skilled workers are required to ensure projected tourism growth to 2025 will be serviced by the required skilled workers. “Qualifications such as the Applied Management degree (with Tourism major) have a place as long as they are applied. Highly academic delivery doesn’t match an applied education.” He continued, “soft skills, people skills, self-management and an awareness of what good service is can’t be academic”. Chris pointed out that Indian workers in the New Zealand tourism industry have shown themselves to be excellent in Front of House positions in the hotel sector, noting “a qualification is a hand up but not if it is too academic.”
Chief Executive of Aviation New Zealand, Chief Executive John Nicholson confirmed that Indian students are in high demand in the aviation industry.
Jay Changlani, Director, Orb 360 and Wellington Chapter Head of INZBC said that this event was an effort to get greater participation from Wellington and the regions for the big annual summit, which is a business event of national importance now. “We encourage Kiwis to participate in big numbers and engage with the incoming delegates from India, who are not easy to get hold of in India”, said Jay.
About the Summit
INZBC is gathering business leaders from Aviation and Tourism from India and New Zealand, together for a full day summit on 28th September 2018, in Auckland. The Summit, which is supported by MFAT, NZTE, Westpac, WelTec & Whitireia, Auckland Airport, Jet Airways, and Incredible India amongst other organisations, will see a high-powered delegation coming from India.
The top names include Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Energy and International Airports
Director, GMR Group Holding Board. There will be other veterans like Som Mittal, ACK Nair, Binit Somaia, Manomay Rai, Adrian Littlewood, Rene de Monchy, Gregg Anderson and other experts, representing Airlines, Airports, Aviation services and the Tourism and Hospitality industry.
Bhav Dhillon, Treasurer, INZBC invited business from all over New Zealand to come and take advantage of this international conference. Bhav said, “The objective of the Summit is to provide a forum to bring together policy and business leaders from New Zealand and India to explore collaboration in Tourism and Aviation and to showcase New Zealand technology and expertise in these sectors. The summit will allow New Zealand and India to demonstrate their credentials in the above-mentioned sectors, for more bilateral trade.”