Aussie tourists flock to Queenstown

Tourist hot-spot Queenstown shows no sign of slowing down, with the number of visitors arriving direct from Australia soaring to new highs.

Queenstown Airport pipped Christchurch as the second-busiest airport in the country for trans-Tasman arrivals in July, with more than 19,000 visitors touching down.

Christchurch Airport had a decline of 2000 arrivals for the same period compared with last year.

Statistics New Zealand figures show 15.8 per cent growth for Queenstown Airport compared with July last year, which tourism insiders put down to a combination of direct marketing and increased capacity for flights across the Tasman.

The airport took nearly 20 per cent of the 97,000 trans-Tasman arrivals in New Zealand.

"Our promotion of Queenstown comple ments well the direct marketing in Australia by the regional tourism operator, Destination Queenstown and the local Queenstown business community,"Queenstown Airport chief executive Scott Paterson said.

Auckland International Airport still has most of the international market, with 52.5 per cent of trans-Tasman arrivals.

Auckland airport holds a 24.9 per cent stake in Queenstown Airport and its general aeronautical commercial manager, Glenn Wedlock, said the alliance was paying off.

"We have no doubt that Queenstown will continue to grow and is on track to transform from an international winter gateway into a year-round gateway for international visitors," 

The Southland Times