Christchurch Airport has had a bumper year for visitor arrivals for far, with official statistics showing the hub’s growth is more than twice that of the national growth at 8.5% compared with New Zealand’s 3.9% average.
Justin Watson, chief aeronautical and commercial officer at Christchurch Airport, said the statistics are outstanding and reveal strong growth from all the key visitor markets of Australia (+7.8%), China (+25.0%), Europe (+7.7%) and the United States (+11.8%).
“The growth reinforces the collective work we have been doing with the South Island tourism industry and our airline partners to grow connectivity and arrivals into the South Island,” says Watson. “We champion the South Island at home and abroad as a must-see visitor destination.
“Our airline partners have added more services and improved connectivity to their networks, making it easier and more convenient for visitors and residents to fly into and out of Christchurch. Now, with more than 10,000 international flights a year, connections to the rest of the world have never been better.”
Watson says the growth is not only great news for travelers, but also for the regional economies of the South Island and for exporters.
“The vast majority of visitors through Christchurch travel around the South Island. With each visitor spending an average of NZ$3,600 [US$2,416], they make a significant economic contribution to the regional economies of the South Island. Whether it’s a five-star hotel in Christchurch or a cafe on the West Coast, the financial impact of the extra arrivals is being widely felt.”
A record number of people have traveled through Christchurch Airport in the past year, with figures expected to reach seven million visitors within the current financial year.
“Every traveler averages one person meeting or greeting them, so it’s safe to say we’ll welcome well more than 12 million people in total this year. The terminal and all our processes are set up for that – and more – and we are constantly looking at how we can improve the experience for everyone who comes through the airport,” added Watson.