Tourism New Zealand is using a piece of Bollywood to give New Zealand's visitor numbers a boost.
Indian actor Sidharth Malhotra, who has also just been named as New Zealand's tourism ambassador to India, arrived in Auckland on Sunday, getting his first glimpse of its skyline from 192m above the ground.
He began his tour of New Zealand by heading up to the top of the Sky Tower to catch a glimpse of the city's hills, harbours and surrounding islands.
"I couldn't have asked for a better kick-start for my trip, literally felt like living life on the edge."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Following his sky-high climb, the Indian movie star later met students at the University of Auckland Business School, before continuing with his tour of the country around Northland, Wellington and Queenstown.
Tourism New Zealand's director of trade, PR and major events, Rene de Monchy, said the Bollywood star was their top pick as the ambassador to India because of his huge fan base.
Throughout his trip, Mr Malhotra will be filming a video highlighting New Zealand's natural scenery, adrenalin-packed activities and unique cultural experiences that'll be used to promote it as a good holiday destination.
"We know from past experience of working with celebrities like China's Huang Lei and actress Yao Chen, their influence through popular culture, particularly through social media channels, is enormous," said Mr de Monchy.
Despite being a relative newcomer to Bollywood, the popular Indian actor has a social media following of more than 4.3 million fans.
He quickly shot to fame in 2009, initially as a model, before making his big-screen debut in a 2012 romantic comedy, Student of the Year.
According to Tourism New Zealand the number of people visiting this country from India is growing steadily, with numbers up 24.9 per cent to 43,329 for the year ending August. Indian visitors tend to travel from October to March and family arrivals peak from April to June, making the Indian market attractive to the industry as it helps to offset seasonality issues by encouraging visitors in the shoulder seasons.