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Inbound tourism expected to soar this summer

Press Release – Auckland Airport

New Zealand tourism operators are poised to reap the rewards from another rise in passenger numbers through Auckland Airport from Asia and Europe this summer – a boost to the industry of more than $NZ10 million.9 November 2011

Inbound tourism expected to soar this summer

Inbound Asian tourism set to grow through increased investment from key markets

New Zealand tourism operators are poised to reap the rewards from another rise in passenger numbers through Auckland Airport from Asia and Europe this summer – a boost to the industry of more than $NZ10 million.

Over December 2011 and January 2012 Korean Air will increase capacity to the larger Boeing 747-400 (from the Boeing 777-200) ten times each week between Auckland and Seoul, resulting in an additional 30 per cent more seats over New Zealand’s peak summer tourism season.

The latest Inbound Visitor Survey results show Korean tourists spend on average six days in New Zealand and are ranked second highest by expenditure, spending on average $3,680 per visit – 50 per cent higher than the average visitor spend of $2,420.

According to Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, this is another signal of strong positive demand from high growth Asian markets for visiting New Zealand this summer, and the early capacity increase is great for the travel trade and consumer joint promotions recently launched in the market.

“We have had a clear growth strategy for the Asian market, and Korean Air’s increase in services is another demonstration of the commitment to our market. We’ve been working hard over the past three years to promote the opportunity, and specifically working alongside Tourism New Zealand and Korean Air to market New Zealand as a destination in Korea.”

“It is fantastic to see New Zealand securing that level of capacity for the summer, and the knock-on economic benefits that have fallen out of combined industry efforts.”

The influx of Asian and European tourists from Korean Air’s network will not only be advantageous for Auckland, but will also have huge flow-on benefits for local regions, like Queenstown and Rotorua which have strong tourism infrastructure.

Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt welcomes the increased capacity from Korean Air, saying it will have considerable tourism benefits for regions and operators around New Zealand.

“Here in Queenstown we have already been experiencing strong interest from Korean travel agents so this boost to capacity will hopefully bring more visitors to the Southern Lakes region via Auckland.”

Other examples of the success of Auckland Airport’s Asian growth strategy include the recent launch of daily services between Auckland and Guangzhou on China Southern Airlines, and Jetstar and Malaysian Airlines increasing their services into Asia. Increased direct air links offer better connections between New Zealand and Asia, which are critical for gaining access to these high growth economies for trade and tourism.

“Auckland Airport has seen more than six per cent growth in in-bound tourism since the start of this year, and we are looking forward to seeing more growth from markets such as Korea, and Japan,” adds Mr. Wedlock. “Increasing air connections to high-growth regions like Korea and China is essential for New Zealand’s economic success, especially with the provision of increased access for exports over summer.”

Korean Air has an extensive passenger and cargo network that stretches to other parts of Asia and Europe, meaning additional trade opportunities beyond the Seoul hub. Increased flight services not only open up travel from Korea, but also other key markets such as Japan, China and Europe.

Korea is New Zealand’s 7th largest inbound tourism market by arrivals and expenditure – just behind Germany and ahead of Canada. Korean tourists inject approximately $NZ200million to New Zealand’s economy each year.

The flight time from Auckland to Seoul is approximately 11.5 hours.


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