Kiwi visit num­bers prompt flight bid

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS MCMA­HON

KI­WIS may be able to fly di­rect to Townsville soon, with fig­ures re­veal­ing our near­est neigh­bours are flock­ing to the city in droves.

Fig­ures re­leased by Tourism and Events Queens­land show that up un­til March this year the city had about 121, 000 in­ter­na­tional visi­tors, up 26.3 per cent on last year.

Al­most 10 per cent of those came from New Zealand, with 11,000 com­ing to Townsville, up more than 45 per cent on last year.

The big in­flux of Ki­wis has not come as a sur­prise to Townsville En­ter­prise ex­ec­u­tive man­ager of tourism and events Brid­get Woods, who said the city had the sec­ond­largest New Zealand com­mu­nity in Queens­land.

“These fig­ures strongly sup­port our ad­vo­cacy work and our push to get di­rect flights in and out of New Zealand from Townsville,” Ms Woods said.

“Dis­cus­sions ( with air­lines) are cur­rently tak­ing place and the great thing is this in­for­ma­tion will sup­port those dis­cus­sions and the air­lines will like the vis­it­ing friends and rel­a­tive mar­ket that we have.

“We need to prove to the air­lines that the route is vi­able for them and we need com­mu­nity sup­port to show that.”

Townsville Air­port chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Kevin Gill said the fig­ures high­lighted the de­mand from New Zealand.

“Ki­wis are trav­el­ling and Townsville is on their radar,” he said. “We regularly en­gage with our air­line part­ners in dis­cus­sions around ex­ist­ing ser­vices and po­ten­tial new routes.

“We have our di­rect Bali ser­vice with Jet­star com­menc­ing in Septem­ber, and we hope the suc­cess of this route may prove to be a cat­a­lyst for fur­ther in­ter­na­tional growth.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.