Auckland International Airport [NZX: AIA] the nation's busiest gateway, is targeting 6 percent growth in visitor arrivals by 2025, worth up to $19 billion to New Zealand's tourism industry by tapping into Asia's growing travel market.
The "ambitious" target will see annual growth in international visitors between 3.6 percent and 5.6 percent, to reach 5.2 million visitors by 2025, the airport said in a statement coinciding with the airport's Asia Summit conference on tourism from the region in Auckland today.
Organic growth projects arrivals at 4.1 million visitors.
"What Auckland Airport is trying to do is stretch the industry," Lily Choi-Lee, general manager of TravConsult who emceed the conference told BusinessDesk. "What Auckland Airport has realized is they can't just passively wait for everyone else to do the work to get the tourists here."
The airport is targeting the growing Asian middle class, especially Chinese tourists and yesterday announced an increase in daily direct flights to Guangzhou by China Southern Airlines from 10 to 14 per week in the summer high season. The airline started flying three times a week to Auckland in April 2011.
The increase, using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is estimated to add 40,000 seats and $43 million to the New Zealand industry. The route first launched three years ago at three flights a week.
The airport says Indonesian arrivals are set to grow the fastest, rising at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent to a projected 62,457 as the economy grows. Argentina, Brazil and Chile will collectively grow CAGR 15.1 percent to take 2.2 percent market share in 2025.
Australia will remain the dominant source of visitors because of its proximity and relative economic strength, said chief executive Adrian Littlewood. However the trans-Tasman visitor market share will drop to 38 percent from its current 45 percent as Asian visitors grow.