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Travel NewsSYDNEY, 5 November 2013: The Canterbury region of New Zealand is being targeted as the next great location for West Australian travellers with the launch of direct flights and a compelling new advertising campaign.

The campaign is aiming to entice West Australians to take up Air New Zealand’s twice weekly direct flights between Perth and Christchurch. The flights, starting in early December will be a seasonal service with the potential to extend to year round.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive Tim Hunter said he is excited about the strategic advertising campaign that will be in market from November in print, outdoor and online advertising channels.

“The campaign is about showing West Australians the diversity of the experiences Christchurch and Canterbury have on offer in the hope they’ll want to jump straight on the new direct service.

“We are hoping to see significant opportunities for growth from the introduction of direct flights from the booming West Australian market in both business and leisure visitor numbers,’’ Mr Hunter said.

The growth in West Australian visitors to New Zealand has outpaced other Australian states with a 22% increase in visitors since 2010.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager for Australia Tim Burgess is positive about the increase saying “West Australian travellers are generally staying longer and spending more making them an attractive prospect for New Zealand.”

Air New Zealand General Manager for Australia Leanne Geraghty is confident the service will perform well.

“Air New Zealand is delighted to commence twice weekly direct service between Perth and Christchurch. The addition of this service further strengthens the network we provide in partnership with our trans-Tasman alliance partner Virgin Australia, by providing ease and convenience for leisure and business visitors alike to experience both cities and their surrounding regions,” said Ms Geraghty.

The campaign is a joint marketing venture between Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Christchurch International Airport, Tourism Holdings and a collective of Positively Wellington Tourism, Destination Marlborough, Interislander ferries and Kiwi Rail.

Christchurch International Airport Limited General Manager of Aeronautical Business Development, Matthew Findlay, says the aim of the campaign is to ensure the new air service operates at capacity fostering the desire that West Australians have for the New Zealand experience.

“We know from the work we’ve done with Western Australian travel agents, Perth Airport and other industry stakeholders, that there is a lot of interest in Christchurch and the South Island. The goal now is to translate that interest into flight sales,” says Mr Findlay.
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