By James Wilkinson
For the first time in history, more than one million people have landed in New Zealand from Australia in a 12-month period – a sign that the country’s latest tourism campaign is working, according to NZ Prime Minister John Key.
NZ recorded more than a million Australian arrivals
in the past year according to the NZ Prime Minister
Key, who also holds the tourism portfolio, said Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday (Jun 22) show that 1,001,880 visitors arrived from Australia in the year to May, the highest ever for a 12 month period.
“Our decision in March to boost marketing in Australia by NZD$2.5 million was based on very sound principles,” he said. “In tough economic times, the New Zealand market is still very accessible to Australians wanting to holiday, and we recognised the need to take advantage of that.
“Tourism New Zealand has seen increased awareness of New Zealand in Australia in recent months and highly competitive airfares, good seat capacity, and a favourable exchange rate are all working in our favour,” Key said.
Airfare prices have become more competitive in recent months thanks to increased capacity and this will continue come September when Pacific Blue launches a range of new services between Australia and New Zealand.
Highlighting the new services are direct flights from Sydney to Hamilton, Queenstown and Wellington – a move that has been welcomed by the country’s leading hoteliers.
Accor Hotels vice president – New Zealand, Paul Richardson, said the new flights would provide a boost to the MICE market, particularly in Queenstown.
“The MICE sector has been depressed for some time, but if the price is right and there is easy access Queenstown is a destination that is really likely to benefit from new air services from Australia,” he told SpiceNews.
“We are already seeing growth in sales-based incentives and this is a market that would be ideal for Queenstown.”
In another initiative to grow inbound arrivals from Australia further, Tourism New Zealand has launched a promotional campaign to celebrate the one millionth visitor. The ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign will see two people win a millionaire’s holiday to New Zealand.
“The one millionth Australian visitor is a major milestone for the New Zealand tourism industry and a great achievement given the challenges being faced at the moment,” Key said.
With initiatives like this, New Zealand is further cementing its position and the must-see destination in the South Pacific region – and that is only good news for the MICE market in the country.