Christchurch jumps in Australian destination preferences


Christchurch has jumped six spots as a preferred destination for Australian visitors.

The placing is based on travel site Skyscanner’s 2017 data, which ranks the top 20 travel destinations for Australians based on value for money – with Christchurch now placed at number 14.

The city received 15 per cent more bookings this year. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City was the fastest-growing destination, with bookings up by 23 per cent and the city rising eight places to be the 13th ranked destination.

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Marketing Rowan Worner says the increase in Australians coming to the city is fantastic for Christchurch and Canterbury.

“We have a really strong visitor proposition, with key partners such as the airport, tourism providers and ChristchurchNZ working together. We are meeting the needs of Australian visitors with good flight connectivity and high-quality tourism activities.”

The positive visitor numbers look set to continue next year, with two campaigns recently running across the ditch to attract Australians to Christchurch and the South Island.

Christchurch “in next to no time” focused solely on bringing Australians to Christchurch and Canterbury and finished this week. Campaign activity drove more than 83,000 visits to by Australians wanting to find out more about a holiday in Christchurch.

The regional $1.4 million South Island Journeys promoted five South Island touring routes, which all start in Christchurch. It was carried out in partnership with Christchurch International Airport, ChristchurchNZ and 14 regional tourism organisations plus key trade partners Flight Centre and Air New Zealand.

Christchurch International Airport Ltd Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson said Christchurch Airport has seen 25 percent growth in air capacity over the last two years, with new services starting to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

“The arrival of the Emirates A380 in October last year also boosted the available seats between Christchurch and Australia, taking them to 1.9 million per annum.”

“Our partnership with Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand in the South Island Journeys campaign for the last three years, as well as a winter ski focus, has seen Australian visitor arrivals into Christchurch grow faster than the national average – as more Australians discover all the city and region has to offer.”

There were 246,768 Australians that came to Christchurch for the year to October 2017, an increase of 7 percent on the previous year. This is compared to -2 percent nationally.

Australia is New Zealand’s largest inbound tourism market, making up almost half of all visitors to the country each year. Statistics show Australian visitors stay for 12.5 days and visit 3.4 regions when they visit the South Island via Christchurch. Those that fly direct to Queenstown stay for nine days and visit 1.8 regions.

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