News Briefs – 18th April 2017

    French Polynesia tourism increases by 4.7% in 2016

    French Polynesia tourism increased 4.7% year-on-year to 192,495 in 2016, according to the Institute of Statistics of French Polynesia (SPTO, 13-Apr-2017). The increase is from all markets around the globe, except Europe (excluding France), which remains stable. International air traffic increased by 4.2% however, the average length of stay decreased by 2.8% and the average overall stay shortened to 13.8 days.

    Visitor arrivals to Australia down 2% in Feb-2017

    Tourism Australia reported (17-Apr-2017) visitor arrivals to Australia fell 2% in Feb-2017. Details include:

    • Visitor arrivals: 780,100, -2.1% year-on-year;
      • China: 142,200, -18.2%;
      • UK: 87,100, +7.1%;
      • New Zealand: 82,400, +4.3%;
      • US: 74,100, +4.5%;
      • Singapore: 27,200, -15.0%.

    Qantas warns against allowing international carriers to operate on domestic routes in Australia

    Qantas advised a parliamentary committee to refrain from allowing international carriers to operate on domestic routes in Australia, known as cabotage (Sydney Morning Herald, 17-Apr-2017). A submission by Qantas group executive Andrew Parker to the senate committee which is investigating the possibility of cabotage, stated any changes would have substantial economic, employment and operational risks and would undermine Australia’s position in future air services negotiations. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development submission stated cabotage can be considered under existing policy in exceptional cases, such as on routes not serviced by Australian airlines.

    Australia Federal Government spends USD324m on travel in 2016

    Australia‘s Federal Government spent a total of AUD427 million (USD324 million) on travel and accommodation in 2016, an increase of AUD50 million (USD37.9 million) over the 2013-14 financial year (Canberra Times, 18-Apr-2017). This equates to more than AUD2700 (USD2049) for each of the 155,000 public servants.

    ATSB employees could face jail if information on MH370 is leaked

    Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) invoked legislation which does not require the bureau to release material about its search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (The Australian, 17-Apr-2017). ATSB GM for strategic capability Colin McNamara refused The Australian newspaper’s ­request for information, claiming release could “cause damage the international relations of the commonwealth”. The ATSB warned that any bureau ­employee who provides such ­information to the public or a court could face two years in jail.

    Council announces commitment to improve Gladstone Airport access road

    Gladstone Council is committed to improve Gladstone Airport‘s access roads by 2031 (The Observer, 17-Apr-2017). The council has yet to draw out a project timeline or estimated cost, but plans to link Penda Ave/Dawson Hwy roundabout by extending Shaw St to Olsen Ave.

    Auckland Airport celebrates USD700k in Alipay transactions

    Auckland Airport celebrated reaching NZD1 million (USD701,392) in Alipay transactions since the service launched in Oct-2016 (NZ Herald, 17-Apr-2017). China is the airport’s second largest visitor market. Airport GM Jason Delamore stated: “The Alipay partnership also opens up opportunities to communicate with potential travellers from China before they come to New Zealand and with Chinese visitors while they’re travelling here”.

    Timaru District Council: Airport upgrade stage one open

    Timaru Richard Pearse Airport completed (18-Apr-2017) the first stage of its NZD1.3 million (USD911,306) upgrade project, featuring a fully sealed car park, additional parking capacity and dedicated pick up/drop off bays to improve safety. As previously reported by CAPA, the NZD575,000 (USD388,100) project was conducted by Fulton Hogan. The airport will implement a NZD5 (USD3.50) daily parking surcharge from late Aug-2017. The following phase will work on terminal upgrades and expansion.

    New Zealand to feature on major Brazilian travel show

    Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand partnered (18-Apr-2017) with Brazilian travel show, Lugar Incomum to feature the country in eight dedicated episodes. Tourism New Zealand GM Americas and Europe Bjoern Spreitzer stated Tourism New Zealand took full advantage of the show’s airtime and built a significant marketing campaign around it including amplified advertising in Brazil featuring the show’s host Didi Wagner. Mr Spreitzer added: “Brazil is a market showing steady growth and with direct flights to New Zealand now arriving three times a week from nearby Buenos Aires with plans to extend, the region has really opened up”.