09 Feb 2012
The Australian market continues to thrive for Wellington’s $2200 a minute tourism industry, with latest statistics showing a 16% increase in direct arrivals into Wellington Airport in 2011 - five times the national growth.
Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says December saw a strong performance from the key target market of New South Wales, up 24% according to Statistics New Zealand’s International Visitor Arrivals data.
A 14% increase in arrivals from Victoria followed the popular WLG pop up restaurant and Air New Zealand’s surprise gift of free Melbourne-Wellington return flights to 60 unsuspecting diners in Melbourne in November.
“Direct arrivals into Wellington were five times that of the national growth of 3% in 2011," Mr Perks says. "The formula of results-driven partnership marketing backing up increased seat capacity is definitely adding up.”
In 2011 Air New Zealand increased flights as a result of its alliance with Virgin Australia. Qantas has also replaced its 144 seat 737-400 aircraft with the 168 seat 737-800 aircraft across the Tasman.
Wellington Airport Chief Executive Steve Sanderson says the airport has achieved record international passenger numbers, up 10% overall this year.
“Increased airline capacity and investment in new aircraft has enabled the growth and also given more choice for Wellingtonians to travel. All of these passengers get to experience ‘The Rock’, recently judged fourth best terminal in the world.”
Mr Perks says 2012 is set to be another exciting year, in which major events will continue to be a key player.
“Off the back of the Hertz Sevens, we’re just a few weeks away from launching into the NZ International Arts Festival. Then in the lead up to the Brancott Estate WOW Awards and the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we’ve got a string of events such as Handmade, Beervana, Visa Wellington On a Plate and the New Zealand Chocolate Festival.”