More Australians Visiting and Spending more Time in Wellington, New Zealand

Travel News Asia 26 October 2005

Wellington, the cultural and culinary capital of New Zealand, is growing in popularity with Australian travellers, who are visiting the city in greater numbers and are staying longer.

The recently released New Zealand International Visitor Survey shows that Wellington achieved a 15.3% increase in Australian visitors in the year ended March 2005.

During the year in review, Wellington attracted 190,551 Australian visitors, compared with 165,305 in the previous year.

Australian visitors average stay in Wellington was seven nights longer than the average Australian length of stay anywhere else in New Zealand.

We have achieved an increase of 25,246 people in a 12-month period: thats equivalent to about 180 additional flights per year, or 3.5 per week, with a 140-seat aircraft, said Chris Lamers, General Manager Marketing of Positively Wellington Tourism.

There has also been a huge increase in Australian accommodation room nights, exceeding 1.5 million in the year to the end of March 2005 - a 64.3% increase over the previous year, said Mr Lamers.

We are continuing to experience and expect rising visitor numbers from Australia, with a target of 65,000 more visitors per year by 2007 a target which we plan to achieve through a combination of specialised advertising and promotions in Australia, and greater education of travel wholesalers and retailers about what our city and region have to offer.

Mr Lamers said that Wellington had also seen an increase in conference business from Australia.

We want to continue building corporate visits, particularly for conferences, for which we are well-equipped with meeting venues and delegate activity programmes, as well as close access from Australia, with flights of approximately three hours, Mr Lamers.

And we are also working hard to increase the volume of leisure travellers: we want them to experience our vast range of fine wining and dining options, our strong focus on culture and the arts, our touring options, our nightlife and shopping and our close proximity to the magnificent wineries of nearby Martinborough.

Currently, Wellington is served with more than 50 flights per week by Air New Zealand, Qantas and Pacific Blue from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and connecting flights from Auckland and Christchurch.

Wellington has also increased inter-island ferry access with the recent introduction of the 22,365-tonne Kaitaki, which can carry 1,600 passengers and 600 cars between the South Island port of Picton and Wellington, compared with 1,000 passengers and 200 cars on the vessel it replaces.

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