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Auckland Airport awards $100,000 in regional tourism grants

Auckland Airport awards $100,000 in development grants to drive growth in year-round regional tourism

Auckland Airport announced today that it has further invested in New Zealand’s tourism industry with the award of two $50,000 development grants for two regional operators.

The grants, to NZ Wine and TIME Unlimited Tours, will allow both operators to develop innovative tourism products that support Auckland Airport’s Four Seasons Five Senses campaign to promote New Zealand as a year round destination to international travellers.

This is the second consecutive year that Auckland Airport has put up $100,000 for tourism development grants. Last year four grants of $25,000 were awarded to support the development of food and wine, adventure and cultural experiences for Chinese tourists. It is the success of these programmes that has encouraged the airport to provide a further $100,000 and expand the target audience.

Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical commercial, says that while only two operators will benefit directly from funding, the scheme has a wider benefit for the whole New Zealand tourism industry.

“This year, operators were asked to illustrate how tourism products could be clustered and developed with seasonal themes to attract visitors, particularly from China, Australia, the United States and India.”

“We want the grant scheme to inspire regional tourism businesses to come together and think innovatively about creating new experiences that sustain visitor numbers all year round.”

NZ Wine has been awarded the grant for its Pure Discovery product, which its global marketing director, Chris Yorke, says aims to enhance wine tourism experiences across 10 major wine regions.

“The goal of the Pure Discovery project is to substantially increase visitor participation in wine experiences. This will include identifying and promoting more high-end wine related experiences that will further enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a premium wine producer and visitor destination,” says Mr Yorke.

TIME Unlimited’s cultural City to Cape Collection will integrate Northland and Auckland experiences into itineraries under Māori seasonal themes. Co-founder and director Ceillhe Sperath, of Ngapuhi descent, says the award of the grant will assist them to showcase New Zealand’s compelling point of difference.

“Our proposal is to share our unique knowledge of being Māori and enhance the visitor experience with our strong values of kinship, hospitality and mutual exchange of cultural understanding,” says Ms Sperath.

Auckland Airport’s Four Seasons Five Senses campaign continues to play an important role in driving the New Zealand tourism industry by promoting New Zealand as a year-round tourist destination to key travel markets.

International arrivals into Auckland from China, Japan and Korea all increased by over 20 per cent in the last financial year, contributing to an overall international arrivals total, excluding transits, of over 4.4 million.

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