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Strategy “Quantum Leap” for Wellington Region

25 November 2005

Long Haul Strategy “Quantum Leap” for Wellington Region

Wellington’s future growth in the tourism industry could depend on whether or not we can get direct air access from Asia with one stop to Europe, says Philip Shewell, Positively Wellington Tourism’s Chairman.

Speaking at the Board’s final board meeting of the year, Mr Shewell said that the recently-announced Long Haul Strategy offered a quantum leap for the Wellington region.

“It is one of the most exciting opportunities we’ve ever had.”

The Wellington Region’s Long Haul Strategy is to get daily airline services between Wellington and Asia, something that will be possible in 2008 with new aircraft technology that would allow long haul aircraft to land at Wellington Airport.

The combined force of Positively Wellington Tourism and Wellington Airport is leading the charge for Wellington to be on the top of the airlines’ lists when they choose international ports of call for these new aircraft.

“We are creating a business plan that will sell the airlines on Wellington but we need everyone’s support. It is an initiative that will benefit the whole region.”

Shewell said that it is only through this kind of high-gain strategy that the growth in Wellington’s tourism industry will continue to out-perform the rest of the country.

“This is a one-off opportunity and we’re already talking to councils and interested groups about what needs to be done to realise the strategy.”

The board meeting, which also saw Mr Shewell re-elected as chair by the Board of Trustees for an unprecedented fifth term, discussed the challenging tourism market and Wellington’s position within it.

“This has been another good year for tourism in Wellington and we have managed to sustain growth in a declining market. But all signs are indicating that this coming year will be even more challenging. Being prepared is not enough. We must also seize opportunities like the Long Haul Strategy in order to move ahead.”

ENDS

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