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Prime Minister announces Agroventures expansion in India

Prime Minister announces Agroventures expansion in India

1 August, 2013

Rotorua's Agroventures Adventure Park has announced the launch of its first international expansion, with the opening of its Swoop and Bungy attractions at a major adventure park in Mumbai, India. Prime Minister John Key officially launched the international expansion by unveiling a plaque at the cluster's Rotorua site this afternoon (Thursday 1 August).

The Agroventures group includes the world-first Agrojet jetboat and Shweeb human-powered monorail, the New Zealand-first Freefall Extreme windtunnel and Swoop sky-swing, and the Rotorua Bungy. Each of the adventure tourism activities has progressively established at the Ngongotaha, Rotorua site over the past 15 years, consolidating into one entity, Agroventures Adventure Park, in December 2010.

Agroventures Managing Director, Peter Cossey, says the group were prompted to explore potential international expansion opportunities by the overwhelmingly positive feedback the adventure park receives every day, including from Indian visitors.

"Our attractions are synonymous with New Zealand's leading reputation as an adventure tourism destination. The creation of the cluster of five iconic activities and hence ownership of the total “adventure experience” offers a unique proposition and sets us apart from other adrenalin attractions both in New Zealand and around the world.”

"They are all innovative and very specific to New Zealand, and together provide a one-stop shop for thrill-seekers of all ages. We felt they would credibly represent our country's adventure tourism brand and would replicate well in offshore markets."

Mr Cossey says the group has undertaken a detailed review in order to expand internationally, including careful consideration of its first target market.

"Asia represents an incredible market for New Zealand due to proximity, population, spending power and rapidly westernised ways. In addition, senior members of our team have been advising on adventure tourism aspects in India and Singapore for a couple of years now.

“In addition, we have found that the Indian culture is currently more receptive to adventure activities than some of their other Asian neighbours. Adventure tourism is a nascent market there and the sheer size of the Indian population makes their 'domestic' market extremely significant and an incredible opportunity."

Mr Cossey says India's colonial heritage also means it is simply a much easier country in which to do business.

He says Agroventures have been forging contacts and building relationships in India for the past four years, including through a range of meetings that were facilitated by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's office in Mumbai.

"Ultimately we connected with an Indian adventure park operator with a passion for New Zealand adrenalin tourism. This culminated in the development of a joint venture between our two organisations and the official launch of our international operations today."

Mr Cossey says Agroventure's New Zealand staff have been heavily involved in the design, construction and development of the Swoop and Bungy at Della Adventure Park in Mumbai. Two senior New Zealand staff members have also been posted to Della and are responsible for safety and operations. It is likely that staff will rotate on an annual basis.

"A key part of our international operations will always be to have members of our team actively involved in running our activities on the ground. This is absolutely critical for us both in terms of preserving the credibility and authenticity of the attractions, and to ensure our best practice safety and operational procedures are complied with and, accordingly, that our impeccable safety records are maintained.

"Safety is absolutely paramount for us and it always will be. It is not only the reputation of Agroventures at stake, but we feel an additional responsibility and obligation in respect of the reputation of the entire New Zealand adventure tourism industry."

Mr Cossey says Agroventures' goal is to expand to offer the entire Agroventures package of activities in India and to further grow their international presence based on the Mumbai model.

He says the company also hopes to use the Rotorua base as a training ground for New Zealand staff who can then travel and experience the world through the Agroventures operation.

"This expansion is not only an exciting development for our business, but also for our people."

ENDS

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