Kiwi visit numbers prompt flight bid
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.”