Impact Publications : MiceBTN_62
Page 14 • MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2016 NEW ZEAlAND UNTIL 40 years or so ago, Queenstown was a pleasant but often sleepy – especially in summer – resort town, popular with ski enthusiasts and as a brief stopover en route to or from Milford Sound. Now it is a vibrant international desti- nation with world-class ski facilities, a cal- endar of major events, a strong portfolio across all accommodation categories, a wide choice of restaurants and bars, retail that’s moved beyond souvenirs to top- end....and an airport that is growing rapidly as an international portal as well as a major domestic station. And it’s still a gateway to Milford Sound. Now Queenstown Airport is about to move into a new era that will allow higher year-round traffic. As we have reported in recent years the airport (which is part-owned by its bigger counterpart in Auckland) has been work- ing with regulatory authorities, Air NZ and others to enable night operations. These have not been available because of the area’s unique terrain, which restricts operations when light is inadequate and in severe weather. Now all is looking good for Air NZ to start night flights on its busy Auckland/ Queenstown route from July this year. Cam Wallace, the carrier’s chief sales and commercial officer says this will pro- vide greater choice and flexibility, including improved international connectivity. “We believe our proposed Queenstown schedule will be a game-changer for international travellers in particular with same day connections as well as reduced connection times both to and from a range of destinations across Australia, Asia and North America,” he said. Trans-Tasman direct flights will continue to operate year-round in daylight hours. These are offered not only by Air NZ but also Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia. Growth in these – and domestic – services has seen the airport terminal expanded, along with improvement of existing facilities. The airport also attracts a lot of bizjet traffic. Queenstown Airpor t, photo www.spinnakerbay.co.nz Night flights will make Queenstown a grown-up tourism and biz destination NZ hotels meet to be held in Auckland THE 2016 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference will be held at The Langham Auckland 01-02 June 2016. The conference, the largest annual event dedicated to New Zealand’s hotel sector, is co-hosted by Horwath HTL and the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA). Now in its tenth year, the conference targets managers and stakeholders in the New Zealand hotel sector. The 2015 conference attracted more than 300 del- egates, including 30-plus from Australia. TIA Hotel Sector manager Sally Attfield says the 2016 conference will feature international and New Zealand presenters and provide insight into glob- al issues and trends affecting the New Zealand hotel sector. A trade exhibition will run alongside the conference and will feature about 25 hotel sector suppliers. Delegates will also be given complimentary entry to the Hotel Forum and a technical seminar the previous day (Wednesday 01 June). Both of these events also will take place at The Langham Auckland. Program details will be released closer to the conference.