Wine tourism to get Air NZ push

Last updated 09:15 20/05/2014

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Air New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers have teamed up to help boost wine tourism throughout the country, including Marlborough.

New Zealand Winegrowers announced a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, which would see the two organisations work together to promote the country's wine in Canada, United States, Asia, Australia and Britain.

New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke said they would hold consumer and trade events as well as host international food and wine media on tours throughout the country.

"We know from research from Tourism New Zealand that wine tourists spend more, about 30 per cent more, and stay longer than other tourists. "We also know that people who are drinking our wine [overseas] are looking to come and visit."

The Express reported earlier this year that more than a million international tourists have visited a New Zealand winery in the past five years, an average of 220,000 a year. Marlborough was the most-visited wine region, with an average of 43,018 wine tourists a year.

Yorke said the agreement was not only intended to attract more wine tourists, but also to increase sales of Kiwi wine overseas.

As part of the agreement, Air NZ would upgrading flight for wine tourists and offer them lounge access.

Air NZ had worked closely with NZ Winegrowers for almost three decades, with the airline the main sponsor of the country's most prestigious wine competition - the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

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- The Marlborough Express

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