Aussies wanted at NZ ski fields
Sun, 01 Jul 2012 6:06p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
A tourism campaign has been launched to entice snow-starved Western Australians here to enjoy our ski fields.
They live in one of Australia’s fastest growing economic regions and it's hoped businesses here will benefit from their spending.
Visitors to Mount Ruapehu are usually more interested in the sound of skis gliding over pristine snow than the voices of the people around them. But if Tourism New Zealand has its way, they'll be hearing a lot more Aussie twangs on the slopes.
At the moment, there is not much room to squeeze them in, as the school holiday crowd has taken over.
Ski field operators are happy with the start to the season, but acknowledge times have been tough.
“Numbers have been down over the last few years, but I think they are slowly starting to pick up again,” says area manager Steve McGill. “I think people have got a lot more things to spend their discretionary dollar on, but skiing is coming back.”
Tourism bosses are trying to help boost the numbers, and they're encouraged by the latest figures which show nearly 35,000 people from Western Australia had a holiday in New Zealand in the past 12 months.
That's up 8 percent on the previous year.
And for the first time, they've launched a campaign to tempt, specifically, Western Australians with winter holidays.
“New Zealand has more untouched beauty, more fresh powder,” boasts the tourism ad.
Not only are more Western Australians coming, but they stay longer than average, at 14.9 days, giving them more time to spend their money.
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