Direct Kiwi flights an official winner for the Coast

Survey results released today show the 2013 Auckland–Sunshine Coast season was a great success for tourism on the Sunshine Coast and generated $9 million in direct expenditure and $22 million with flow on effects.
Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast Destination have been reviewing the 2013 passenger survey results and they have uncovered some insightful data that will help grow the Kiwi market next year.  538 passengers were surveyed on their way out to Auckland about their journey and the results of the survey analysed.
Cr Jason O’Pray, Economic Development Tourism portfolio, said “We now have two years of solid survey results revealing important travel habits and interesting trends of our New Zealand visitors.
“With 85% of the passengers being Kiwis, we have been keen to better understand – why they come, what they do, where they stay and how they book.
“60% of people said having the ability to fly direct to the Sunshine Coast strongly influenced their decision to come here and 96% said they would come back again.  78% travelled for leisure whilst 17% were visiting friends and relatives.
“From the survey, the visitors were well spread out along the Coast with Mooloolaba at 31% and Noosa at 24% being the most preferred destinations, followed by Maroochydore 18%, Coolum 12% and Caloundra 5%,” Cr O’Pray said.
Sunshine Coast Destination CEO, Simon Ambrose said, “One of the highlights of the survey was that a staggering 22% of the passengers choosing to fly direct, were first-time visitors to the Sunshine Coast, double that of last season.  This supports our assumptions that direct services are crucial to attracting new tourism business to the Coast.
“At the same time, the average number of trips for returning visitors is seven times – demonstrating that we have a great tourism product and Kiwis keep coming back for more.
“73% of those using the direct flights are over 50 years old, however there was an increase from last year in the number of 35 to 45 year olds up to 23%.  82% stayed in commercial accommodation with a substantial 56% staying in self-contained apartments.
“In terms of when and where they booked their flights, 33% still book through travel agents.  The length of stay at 13 nights for these visitors is well above the average and is great for the overall spend in the region.  Other useful information gathered will assist us in targeting specific types of packages, distribution channels and ultimately ensure we spend our tourism dollars in Auckland effectively,” Mr Ambrose said.
The 2014 season commences on Friday 27 June – book flights
Fast Facts:
This is a partnership between Air New Zealand, Auckland International Airport Ltd, Sunshine Coast Airport/Council, Tourism and Events Queensland and Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd.
On 9 December, it was announced Sunshine Coast Council, Sunshine Coast Airport, Sunshine Coast Destination and Tourism and Events Queensland, joined forces to secure future direct Auckland-Sunshine Coast flights for the next 3 years.
2014 season:

  • 2 flights weekly – Friday and Sunday – from 27 June to 19 October 2014
  • 3 flights weekly – Tuesday, Friday & Sunday – from 8 July to 26 August 2014
  • 42 return trips over 17 week season.

2015/16 season:

  • 2 flights weekly – Friday and Sunday – from 26 June 2015 to 3 January 2016
  • 3 flights weekly – Tuesday, Friday & Sunday – from July 7 to August 25, September 29 to October 6, 22 to 29 December 2015
  • 68 return trips over 28 week season.

2016/17 season:

  • 2 flights weekly – Friday and Sunday – from 24 June 2016 to 15 January 2017
  • 3 flights weekly – Tuesday, Friday & Sunday – from 4 July to 9 October, 20 to 27 December 2016
  • 76 return trips over 30 week season.