Air NZ extends partnership

A $20 million extension to marketing partnership with Tourism New Zealand is one of two key partnerships announced by Air New Zealand this week, both of which aim to drive international tourism.

Yesterday the national carrier announced the extension of the marketing partnership through to 2015, stretching co-operative marketing activity to Singapore and Southeast Asia, in support of Air New Zealand's proposed alliance with Singapore Airlines.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties last year, each organisation would invest $10 million over the next 12 months in the Australian, Chinese, Hong Kong, Japanese, North American, United Kingdom and European markets, along with increased activity in emerging markets, including India, Indonesia, and Latin America.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said visitor arrivals were up more than 5% to 2.75 million international visitors in the year to March.

That growth was being driven by holiday arrivals from key markets including China, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America and emerging markets of India and Indonesia, Mr Bowler said.

On Monday Air New Zealand announced it had signed an understanding with New Zealand Winegrowers, which would see them work together to actively promote New Zealand as a wine tourism destination - an emerging market for the country.

The organisations would promote New Zealand wine in North America and Asia. Air New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers would also host international food and wine media on familiarisation tours of New Zealand.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said wine tourists spent 30% more than ''average tourists'' in New Zealand and stayed longer.

''This partnership with Air New Zealand will allow us to jointly reach these important customers to increase wine exports and tourism to New Zealand.