Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon welcomed further detail from the Prime Minister today of the Government’s NZD$158 million boost to the tourism sector, which includes initiatives to boost business and high-value visitor travel to New Zealand.
“Air New Zealand supports any effort to encourage high-spending visitors to New Zealand,” Luxon. “As the Prime Minister has noted, while visitor numbers have continued to increase in recent years, their average spend has fallen and as an industry we need to stay purposeful about addressing that.”
Luxon also welcomed the focus on emerging markets, and the continuing commitment to investment in existing markets.
“New Zealand faces increasing competition from the rest of the world for tourists. We need to continue to invest to ensure we do not fall behind, but we also need to recognise the new opportunities from strongly growing economies,” he said.
He said Air New Zealand will work with Tourism New Zealand to maximise the returns from this increased commitment to marketing New Zealand as an international destination.
“As a business we are focused on growth – a growth agenda is at the very heart of what we are seeking to achieve,” Luxon said.
“While we recognise the Government’s commitment to supporting the tourism sector, we also need to demonstrate that we can work together to ensure this investment produces tangible and enduring results.”
Air New Zealand also welcomed the opportunity to continue to build on its partnership with Immigration New Zealand.
“In China and the emerging markets the New Zealand tourism industry faces visa requirements that have not affected our historic markets,” he said.
“It is more important than ever that we make sure the visitor experience around those issues is as streamlined and easy as it can possibly be.
“Tourism is New Zealand’s second largest export earner with over 2.5 million international visitors arriving in New Zealand to the year ended February 2013.
“This package helps to ensure the New Zealand economy will continue to enjoy the benefits this valuable export industry brings,” Luxon said.