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Auckland Airport announces support for NZ tourism

Auckland Airport announces support for New Zealand tourism

Today at TRENZ 2008, Auckland Airport announced its commitment to growing New Zealand tourism through a substantial programme aimed at improving the visitor experience. The programme will reinforce the work of our tourism industry and manage the anticipated growth in visitors to New Zealand.

Auckland Airport chief executive Don Huse said, "New Zealand tourism and Auckland Airport share many of the same challenges and aspirations. We all want more people to come here and leave our shores with a deep emotional attachment to our beautiful country. We are playing our part by getting ready to promote and service the growth of New Zealand tourism and to reinforce our industry efforts."

Over 70 per cent of visitors arrive or depart from Auckland. This means the principal contribution of Auckland Airport to tourism is in providing the first and last experience for most travellers to New Zealand. The new Airport tourism programme is aimed at ensuring that the visitor experience is uniquely kiwi, welcoming and outstanding.

Huse added, "We are continuing to invest heavily in our tourism future. By now, many of you will have seen our new international arrivals area. It features iconic New Zealand imagery, a greatly increased capacity for passenger processing, and one of the most widely stocked and competitive arrival duty-free stores in the world. October 2008 will see the opening of the new international arrivals Pier B. This will greatly increase capacity and access for aircraft handling at Auckland. This continues our longstanding and deep commitment to continually improving the New Zealand arrival experience."

Auckland Airport is gearing up for the anticipated 24 million passengers a year by 2025. This reflects New Zealand's growing popularity as one of the world's leading tourism destinations, and the pivotal role of the Airport in servicing that growth.

"For us, this means a never ending programme of activity that includes a major international departure area redevelopment, the already completed domestic terminal extreme makeover, an airport hotel development, and significant progress on a new northern runway and north airport services complex, to name but a few" said Huse.

Auckland Airport is making life easier for visitors. From July, travellers will no longer be required to pay an international departure fee at Auckland Airport. Instead, a charge will be levied on airlines, rather than directly on travellers payable at the airport on departure. This brings Auckland Airport into line with other major gateways around the world. In addition, the Airport is about to commence a trial of a new Smart Gate system that will also help streamline the international departure process.

This ever deepening commitment to tourism has been signalled by Auckland Airports' platinum sponsorship of New Zealand's flagship tourism trade event, TRENZ 2008 and in 2009.

Huse concluded, "Auckland Airport and our tourism partners are all working hard to bring more people to New Zealand and to give them some special, exciting memories to take home. We want our tourism partners to know that we are working with them and are absolutely committed to playing our part."

Ends For further information, please contact: Richard Llewellyn Senior Communications Manager Auckland Airport +64 (0) 9 256 8191 +64 (0) 274 77 6120

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the change to departure fees? From 1 July 2008 travellers will no longer be required to pay an international departure fee at Auckland Airport. Historically, a charge has been paid by travellers via a $25 international departure fee at Auckland Airport. From 1 July a Passenger Services Charge (PSC) will be levied on airlines, rather than directly on travellers, based on the number of international arrivals and departures.

How much is the new levy? The new PSC levy is $13 including GST. This levy will be payable for both departing and arriving travellers. It will increase by 50 cents (per international departure and arrival) each year for a further two years. All existing exemptions will still apply.

Why is Auckland Airport doing this? This will bring Auckland Airport into line with common practice at other international airports around the world. It will greatly improve the departure process for departing travellers. Our market research consistently tells us that the current departure fee collection process is a major inconvenience for travellers.

When do the changes take place? From 1 July 2008 the PSC will be levied on the airlines. From that date onwards travellers will not have to pay an international departure fee at Auckland Airport.

What happens to those travelling either side of 1 July 2008? For travellers with itineraries that straddle 1 July 2008 there is little chance of them being overcharged or undercharged as the old process transitions to the PSC. Auckland Airport aims to ensure, to the greatest extent reasonable possible, that travellers are not disadvantaged through this transition process. Each airline will be responsible for any necessary arrangements with respect to individual travellers which may arise as a result of the airline's decision regarding its treatment of the PSC.

ENDS

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