The arrival of the new daily Qatar flight from Doha, 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.
In the year to December 2016, 71,376 Germans visited New Zealand for a holiday, up 15% on the previous year. There were 95,888 holiday visitors from the UK, an annual increase of 12%.
Total international visitor spend in New Zealand reached a new high of $10.1 billion for the year ending December 2016, up 4% on the previous year. Holiday visitor spend is up 10% on last year to $6.4 billion due to increased holiday arrival numbers.
“This is the highest level of international tourism expenditure on record and it’s predicted to increase as tourism numbers grow,” says Acting Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Brighid Kelly.
“Tourism spend is wide reaching, benefiting retail owners, supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants and cafes plus many more in addition to traditional accommodation and travel spend.”