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Govt invests $1.5 million to promote new air service

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

17 September 2015

Govt invests $1.5 million to promote new air service

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has today announced the Government will invest $1.5 million to support the promotion of a new air service between Christchurch and China.

Through the Tourism Growth Partnership the Government will invest $1.5 million over three years to support Christchurch International Airport’s promotion of a new direct air service between Christchurch and Guangzhou.

“This new service is great news for the people of Canterbury, who have worked hard to rebuild their economy over the past few years and are now beginning to see the benefits of their hard work,” says Mr Key.

“The tourism sector in New Zealand is in great shape. We’ve just celebrated our 3 millionth visitor in the past year. Those visitors spent $8.7 billion - up 28 per cent on the previous 12 months.

“China is a major contributor to that growth. Annual visitor arrivals from China are up 23 per cent in the past year to 315,200. Chinese visitor expenditure has topped $1 billion for the first time. Here in Christchurch 61,000 Chinese tourists visited last year, spending $43 million.

“The Government’s investment will help ensure the ongoing sustainability of the service and help deliver economic benefits to Canterbury, the South Island and the rest of New Zealand.”

The investment announced today is in addition to $270,000 approved by the Tourism Growth Partnership late last year to help fund three charter flights operated by China Southern Airlines to fly direct to the Canterbury region.

“The goal of those charter flights was to secure long-term, regular services between Christchurch and China and prove the route could be commercially viable. I’m delighted we have been able to achieve that goal,” says Mr Key.

The Tourism Growth Partnership is a contestable co-investment fund which aims to boost innovation and lift productivity in the tourism sector. So far $8,124,877 of funding has been approved across 15 projects.

ENDS

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