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14 Sep 2016
With one week to go until the arrival of the first Singapore Airlines Capital Express flight, travel trade specialists say the service will significantly diversify Wellington’s tourism market.
The new route will add an additional 110,000 seats in and out of Wellington, with a 10 percent boost to Wellington Airport’s international capacity.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) CEO Chris Whelan says the new flight will give Wellington the best international connectivity it’s ever had, and opens up Wellington to tourist markets it's never directly been linked to.
“Singapore Airlines has one of the best global networks of any international airline. This new flight is about so much more than just connecting Singapore, Canberra and Wellington. It completely opens up Wellington as a destination throughout Asia and Europe. And because destinations like Auckland and Queenstown are at capacity during peak travel periods, we know travel sellers worldwide are actively looking for new and different places and things to do in New Zealand for their clients.
“The timing couldn’t be better.”
Since the flight was announced in January, WREDA has been running consumer marketing activity to promote Wellington in Canberra, it has also been undertaking a busy programme of travel trade activity that has seen more than 450 travel agents across seven countries trained, with five more markets to come over the next six weeks.
“Our trade team has been working with travel sellers across Asia, supporting the development of a range of brand new itineraries, promoting Wellington as the new way to start your New Zealand holiday. Not only does the Wellington region offer a full range of activities and experiences, it opens up new longer-stay itinerary options in the lower North Island and the top of the South.”
“Our trade team has been working with travel sellers across Asia, supporting the development of a range of brand new itineraries, promoting Wellington as the new way to start your New Zealand holiday."
Mr Whelan says the trade has responded positively to New Zealand diversifying it’s offering as the Asian market continues to grow and develop.
“In emerging markets like Indonesia and the Philippines, our trade work is mostly about awareness, ensuring front-line staff are educated about Wellington’s attractions. For maturing markets like India, it’s about drilling down into specific segments like family groups and honeymooners, and building itineraries that open up new experiences in central New Zealand, away from the traditional routes.
Mr Whelan says that Wellington has historically been strong in Western tourism markets, and that changes to the region’s visitor profile in the years ahead will be significant and valuable.
“Diversification is great for Wellington’s visitor economy. Not only does it mean new revenue sources, it decreases our exposure to currency fluctuations or other shocks in specific markets.”