TODAY |

Popular Bollywood star delights fans by joining dance troupe at Christchurch Airport

Tourism New Zealand's ambassador to India arrived to fanfare in Christchurch this afternoon, joining in on a welcome performance. 

Bollywood star Sidharth Malhotra also met former Black Caps captains Brendon McCullum and Stephen Fleming who will join him on the Canterbury leg of his visit.

McCullum met Mr Malhotra during the Prime Minister's visit to India last month and Fleming accompanied him on his New Zealand visit last year.

"I’ve never been to Christchurch, but it's very sweet to see the boys here to see me – Fleming and Brendon – so looking forward to playing some cricket with them, having lunch together and yeah they're going to show me around," Malhotra told 1 NEWS.

This is Mr Malhotra's second visit to New Zealand. During his time here last year, 2.8 million people engaged with him via social media, including 57,000 people interacting with each of his Facebook posts.

"Highlight from last time would definitely be skydiving and playing cricket with the boys on the glacier," Mr Malhotra said.

"We went on two different glaciers and played some amazing cricket for about an hour."

Mr Malhotra will spend 10 days visiting Christchurch, Rotorua, the Waikato and Auckland.

When asked what his favourite Kiwi food was, he said he was most looking forward to trying a hangi.

"So far I'm looking forward to a very ethnic food preparation - they're going to cook me some food in the ground," he said.

Among the fans who turned out to greet him at Christchurch Airport this afternoon were two avid followers of his Instagram.

"He's just really popular, he's in the best movies at the moment and really famous in India and worldwide," 18-year-old Mandira Shailaj said.

"It's cool to show the people over in India what it’s like over here because New Zealand is such a small country and they might have misconceptions about what it's like over here," 18-year-old Devanshi Gandhi said.

Tourism New Zealand says India is a key emerging market for New Zealand.

Figures show nearly 50,000 Indians visited in the year to September, nearly half of them travelling here for a holiday.

Sidharth Malhotra is visiting New Zealand for a second time, as Tourism NZ's ambassador to India. Source: 1 NEWS