Tourism records are set to tum­ble

The Press - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

China South­ern Air­lines has con­trib­uted to a South Is­land tourism boom with the travel op­tions and con­nec­tions it has brought to the global air­line net­work.

Ac­cord­ing to Christchurch Air­port, the South Is­land can ex­pect to set new records this year by wel­com­ing two mil­lion in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

Christchurch Air­port’s chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer aero­nau­ti­cal, Justin Wat­son, says the three south­ern air­ports – Christchurch, Queen­stown and Dunedin – con­tinue to see in­creas­ing vis­i­tor num­bers.

He says 100,000 ex­tra pas­sen­gers are fore­cast through Christchurch, the ac­knowl­edged gate­way to the South Is­land.

‘‘In the past year, Christchurch has wel­comed 53 per­cent more Tai­wanese res­i­dents, 40 per cent more Chi­nese, 34 per cent more from In­dia and 26 per cent more from South Korea, with in­creases, too, in vis­i­tors from Aus­tralia, Amer­ica, Ger­many, Sin­ga­pore and Bri­tain,’’ he says.

‘‘Our in­crease in Chi­nese res­i­dents, at 40 per cent, is well ahead of the na­tional av­er­age of 27 per cent and we re­main New Zealand’s fastest grow­ing en­try point for Chi­nese vis­i­tors.’’

Air­line seats num­bers through Christchurch Air­port has grown 10 per cent in the last year, with 10 car­ri­ers op­er­at­ing 7.9 mil­lion seats.

They car­ried 6.3 mil­lion pas­sen­gers, a record for the air­port, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous record of 6 mil­lion seats set in 2010.

The growth in air­line ca­pac­ity ar­riv­ing in Christchurch is also pro­vid­ing new and ex­cit­ing travel op­tions for Kiwi busi­ness trav­ellers and hol­i­day­mak­ers. China South­ern Air­lines’ Guangzhou hub is one of the world’s busiest air­ports, of­fer­ing South Is­land cus­tomers con­nec­tions to more than 200 cities across Asia, Europe and North Amer­ica.

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