The arrival of the new daily Qatar flight from Doha yesterday, the longest duration flight in the world, is one more important milestone to opening up New Zealand to more European visitors. The flight is expected to bring in excess of NZ$50m in incremental tourism revenue to NZ per year.
Pip Casey, Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager Europe says European visitors are crucial to New Zealand tourism, offering unrivalled value to the economy. “They stay longer, visit more regions and are the biggest spenders of all our visitors. European visitors account for nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s total visitor spend”.
The logistics of getting to New Zealand have long been a barrier to travel from Europe, particularly for those travelling from regional cities but that’s changing with the new flights.
The arrival of the new Qatar flight on Waitangi Day, added to the popular Emirates Dubai-Auckland route means more one-stop flights to New Zealand, meaning it’s easier to travel from more cities. Qatar services Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Dublin. Emirates flights leave from: Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Dublin.
The Qatar flight will also bring 15,000 business class passengers per year, who are high spending, high value visitors.
Pip Casey says that New Zealand is seen as a very safe place to visit, away from international trouble spots. “Combined with cheaper airfares and more one-stop flights, it means New Zealand is becoming an even more attractive travel option”.
There was strong growth in visitor arrivals from Tourism New Zealand’s key European markets, the UK and Germany last year. The latest flights and fares look set to guarantee 2017 will be another good year.
In the year to December 2016, 71,376 Germans visited New Zealand for a holiday, up 15 per cent on the previous year. There were 95,888 holiday visitors from the UK, an annual increase of 12 per cent.
The number of UK visitors will also be boosted this year by the six week DHL NZ British & Irish Lions Series rugby tour, a highlight of the global rugby calendar which only happens every twelve years.
The six week tour, beginning in June is expected to attract some 20,000 fans and followers to New Zealand, most of them from the UK.
In 2016, European holiday visitors:
Stayed an average 35 days compared to the overall average stay 12.7 days.
Spent the most in New Zealand: $2.5b, which is 24% of the total international holiday visitor spend.
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