Di­rect NZ route will set alight tourism

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

HOPES are high in Tas­ma­nian tourism cir­cles that new di­rect flights are on the cards for Ho­bart.

Work is go­ing on be­hind the scenes to get smoother and faster tourist ac­cess into Ho­bart, on the back of record tourism traf­fic and new ho­tels com­ing on line in the city.

The Ho­bart In­ter­na­tional Air­port ex­ten­sion — due for com­ple­tion by March — will en­able di­rect flights from Asian mar­kets and firmly es­tab­lish Ho­bart as an Antarc­tic re­source hub.

Flights from Ade­laide may hap­pen sooner rather than later, one tourism leader said.

Vir­gin started fly­ing the Ade­laide-Ho­bart route in 2004 and stopped about 10 years ago. Tiger Air­ways briefly ran the di­rect ser­vice but stopped in 2010.

Also, di­rect flights to Auck­land in New Zealand would be a coup, and the word is the State Gov­ern­ment is keen to see them op­er­at­ing be­fore the next state elec­tion, due be­fore March.

New Zealand flights would open up big new mar­kets for tourism op­er­a­tors.

No longer would Ho­bart be a tourism ter­mi­nus, where all flights sim­ply turn around and head back to the main­land.

Op­er­a­tors would be able to pack­age Tas­ma­nia and New Zealand hol­i­days aimed at in­ter­na­tional tourists, a boost for Tas­ma­nia and a valu­able add-on for the Kiwi mar­ket.

Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil chief Luke Martin thinks the di­rect Ho­bart-Auck­land con­nec­tion is “a like­li­hood”.

“New Zealand is con­sid­ered a do­mes­tic mar­ket and is an ob­vi­ous op­por­tu­nity for Tas­ma­nia. Auck­land is a city of just un­der two mil­lion peo­ple. New Zealand is a coun­try of 4.5 mil­lion,” Mr Martin said.

Mr Martin also has his sights firmly set on di­rect flights to Perth.

“This is re­ally one we have to pur­sue. Perth will have di­rect flights to Lon­don next year and it will be­come a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional hub,” he said.

“More and more peo­ple are fly­ing into Perth from Asia as well. It is a city of two mil­lion, so it opens up big mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Mr Martin said Tas­ma­nian tourism would also ben­e­fit from more di­rect flights into south­east Queens­land.

The State Gov­ern­ment and the tourism in­dus­try aim to at­tract 1.5 mil­lion tourists to Tas­ma­nia by 2020. Last year 1.2 mil­lion vis­ited, spend­ing about $2.14 bil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.