Auckland Airport invests multi-million dollars in Asia market development programme

26 May 2010

Why? Because the Asian market has the potential to deliver three times the impact of RWC 2011. Each and every year.

Auckland Airport announced today it is investing several million dollars over the next 2-3 years to help develop the Asian tourism market opportunity.

Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter said, “The Asian tourism market opportunity is New Zealand’s best chance to surf the economic boom from emerging economies. According to IATA figures, Asia is already the biggest tourism market in the world, and is predicted to grow the fastest over the next 20 years.”

Mr Moutter compared the scale of the Asian tourism market opportunity favourably with next year’s Rugby World Cup. “New Zealand is looking forward to an estimated $507 million worth of economic benefits from the 2011 RWC. We believe the same sort of positive economic impact can also be achieved through growing international traveller volumes from Asia. We think a realistic target is an additional 250,000 visitors over the next five years, which would deliver an economic benefit equivalent to three Rugby World Cups. Each and every year. That’s a substantial economic prize that’s well worth the same sort of successful collective NZ Incorporated approach and effort as for RWC 2011.”

Auckland Airport has invested significantly into air-services development work over the last 12 months. Mr Moutter said, “We have a dedicated team of people who have been out in the global market-place building over 50 business cases with new and existing airlines to establish Auckland as a preferred destination. We have been investing promotional funds alongside the industry, and we have been putting together tourism and trade stakeholders to help build partnerships. And we’re keen to do even more to help grow tourism and trade for New Zealand.”

Auckland Airport aeronautical business development manager Glenn Wedlock said, “While there are many positive signs, there are still many challenges we face. Over the last few years, economic conditions have been tough and Asian holiday traffic has been flat at best. Some key markets are relatively under-serviced or capacity constrained. And while we definitely need more capacity in some key markets, it’s not just about getting more planes here - policy and process factors such as visas, security requirements and air services agreements are also very important. Every part of the collective tourism team has a part to play.”

The industry can already point to some momentum developing, with government and industry working together to develop capacity, products, promotions, aviation policy and coordinated funding programmes.

Mr Wedlock said, “Wider recognition of the importance and economic impact of air services capacity is emerging, strong partnerships between government and industry are building and together with our industry advantages of a strong tourism brand and attractive holiday destination we have enough reasons to be optimistic that the Asian tourism opportunity is achievable.”

The announcement today of a multi-million dollar investment into Asia is an indication of the importance Auckland Airport places on growing these markets, and reinforces the successes the airport has had over the last 12 months.

Mr Wedlock said, “We have seen new charter services announced out of Japan, Taiwan and most recently Guangzhou. We have seen increased capacity from Air New Zealand, Thai Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei, Qantas and Pacific Blue. We have seen the launch of Jetstar and Pacific Blue on the trans-Tasman and domestically. We have seen new code-share services between LAN Chile and Cathay Pacific and between Air New Zealand and Continental. And we have been building a healthy pipeline of realistic sales prospects and are steadily working our way through business cases and aviation requirements.”

“It’s all about building partnerships and a collective New Zealand Inc approach to market development”, said Mr Moutter, “The RWC 2011 has provided a great model for how New Zealand can partner to achieve ambitious goals. The Asian market prize is huge, and that’s why Auckland Airport is prepared to invest heavily alongside the industry and government to help achieve that ambition.”


For further information, please contact:

Richard Llewellyn
Senior communications manager
+64 9 255 9089
+64 27 477 6120