7 May 2012

Foreign tourist arrivals predicted to be 3.5 million by 2020

6:58 am on 7 May 2012

Auckland International Airport Ltd predicts foreign tourist arrivals will jump from 2.6 million last year, to more than 3.5 million by 2020, generating at least $8.5 billion.

The airport company wants a concerted push by tourism-related firms and organisations to target well-off Asian tourists, particularly from Asian countries like China.

It wants more direct flights, including to countries like Indonesia, and better planned activities to entice users to stay longer and spend more.

The country's largest tourist gateway is urging running Asian-specific training workshops for the industry, developing what it calls Luxury New Zealand programmes, and courting more celebrity ambassadors to come and travel here.

Nevertheless, Australia will remain a crucial market for tourists.