Royal visit an 'advertising coup' for area

Global exposure that cannot be bought is anticipated for Queenstown by tourism and civic leaders when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit next month.

The royal arrival has been the talk of the town since the announcement last week Prince William and Catherine will tour eight centres around New Zealand over nine days.

Their tour includes an arrival at Queenstown Airport, a Shotover Jet thrill ride and an Otago wine-tasting visit to Amisfield Wine at Lake Hayes, on April 13.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the Royals would be in the Wakatipu for ''a short time, but a great time'', with scenic landscapes likely to feature in international media coverage.

''We're delighted, not only that they are visiting, but also that it will actually generate that profile,'' Mr Budd said.

''Shotover Jet and Amisfield have become iconic parts of Queenstown and it's a really nice mix of showcasing what Queenstown offers - that adrenaline-rush activity through to world-class food and wine, all against our beautiful backdrop.''

Penny Clark, Queenstown hotels regional chairwoman of the Tourism Industry Association and general manager of Goldridge Resort, said it was great the couple were scheduled to visit Queenstown.

''We're obviously delighted they're coming,'' Ms Clark said.

''I can't see us getting a huge amount more business during the time they're here. However, the bonus will be they are here and that's beamed around the world.

''You could not get advertising like that in an monetary sense. I really think it's an advertising coup for us and it would have been a huge disappointment for us Queenstowners if they'd come to the country, but not Queenstown.

''We are a tourism resort, so there's no usual reason to come here because we've got no babies to bless in the hospital, we've got no navy ships to put a bottle across the bow, so that's why it's a bonus they are coming.''

Shotover Jet was ''thrilled and delighted'' to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ngai Tahu Tourism Southern regional manager David Kennedy, of Queenstown, said.

The couple will enjoy a trip in the latest-technology V8-powered ''Big Red'', capable of speeds up to 85kmh.

''The royal couple are known for their love of the outdoors and sports, so we think they'll really enjoy the chance to experience a world-leading Queenstown adventure tourism operation,'' Mr Kennedy said.

''In the duke's case, as a helicopter pilot, we believe he'll certainly appreciate the advanced technology coupled with Kiwi ingenuity that makes our jet-boats special.''

The world media spotlight will shine on Central Otago wine when the couple are co-hosted by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association at Amisfield Wine.

Amisfield chief executive Craig Erasmus said the winery was ''honoured and privileged'' to be involved in the ''prestigious historical event'' and the opportunity would support global development of the Central Otago wine brand.

''Our intention is to enable the royal couple to experience a small part of what our region's producers have to offer and gain an insight into the uniqueness of our collective story,'' Mr Erasmus said.

The couple and entourage are expected to fly into Queenstown Airport.

Chief executive Scott Paterson said: ''We're delighted to be involved and we are working with the authorities on logistics.''

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said she was ''thrilled'' to learn of the visit.

''It will be a privilege to host them during their stay.''

The visit would be a great opportunity to gain international exposure for the adventure-tourism sector and wineries, she said.

''It's also a chance for the duke and duchess to have some time to relax during their busy tour schedule, so we can also show the world our beautiful scenery and natural attractions.''


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