Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton is
enthusiastic about the new Christchurch to Perth direct flight
started on December 4 by Air New Zealand.
The new direct flight would provide another link from which
Dunedin would benefit.
Mr Saxton was among the 26 business and tourism leaders who
travelled to Perth on the inaugural flight. The visit was
supported by Air New Zealand, Christchurch Airport and
Tourism Western Australia.
Taking three hours off the flight time to the South Island
would provide a major benefit, he said.
Western Australians regarded a trip to New Zealand as
''long-haul'' and usually had itineraries of about three
weeks. If they flew into Auckland, the North Island
destinations usually received the most attention, with the
South Island almost tacked on to the end.
However, having them fly direct into Christchurch meant South
Island destinations getting a better chance of increased
visitors. That would help accommodation providers and rental
car agencies, Mr Saxton said.
The fights have a 220-seat capacity and Mr Saxton hoped at
least 50% of the seats would be for inbound tourists.
''With a high loading on the flights, an extra 100 travellers
from Australia coming into the South Island twice a week adds
South Island regional tourism organisations did compete on
markets but they did not have to compete for air services.
''We are able to come together to work on itineraries to
involved the whole South Island. This makes the initiative
easy to support from Christchurch Airport, in this regard.
Tourism Dunedin can fly the flag for operators in the
Tourism Dunedin had a presence in Perth, representatives
visiting the WA city at least once a year. WA tourism
operators were also hosted by Tourism Dunedin and the Dunedin
organisation co-operated with wholesale and retail operators
on brochures and other publicity.