1 Mar 2010

Industry advised not to have all its eggs in one basket

7:15 am on 1 March 2010

Auckland International Airport Ltd says the tourism industry can't afford to be too reliant on strong visitor numbers from Australia continuing to prop up the sector.

New Zealand's biggest airport made a profit of almost $54 million in the six months to the end of December - more than four times the $9.8 million for the same period the previous year.

Chief executive Simon Moutter says the entire tourism industry is benefiting from a surge in visitors from Australia as a result of strong competition on the trans Tasman route and really great promotions.

However, he says the industry must not rely on Australian holidaymakers, and other markets have to be built up if the Australian sector drops to its previous levels.

Mr Moutter says he is doubtful the Japanese market will become the mainstay it once was, and AIA is now focusing on attracting visitors from other Asian markets.