Cash handouts under the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package have helped boost the tourism industry – in New Zealand.
New figures show a big rise in the number of Aussies heading across the Tasman on holiday over the past year.
And Kiwi tourism industry leaders say the thousands of dollars given out by our Federal Government in economic stimulus packages is a contributing a factor.
“That would have helped, I’m sure,” said Tim Cossar, chief executive of the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand.
“There’s a feeling it’s been advantageous to (encouraging) travel to New Zealand.
“Certainly if you ask people what’s been helping them come here, that one does come up.”
The Kiwis’ gain is Queensland’s loss with tourism operators in the Sunshine State missing out on tens of millions of dollars from interstate holidaymakers.
The local industry was hoping to cash in with Premier Anna Bligh and federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson urging people to boost the economy and protect local jobs by taking holidays in Australia, rather than overseas.
Aussies have instead been lured across the ditch by cheap deals and smart marketing.
Mr Cossar said they deliberately targeted Australia to counter the economic crisis.
The number of Australians travelling to NZ in the year to July rose by 6 per cent. In July, it was up 20 per cent.
Latest figures from Tourism Queensland show the number of people coming here from NZ fell 6 per cent in the year to June and interstate visitors were down 17 per cent.
Queensland Tourism Industrial Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said NZ was increasingly seen as part of the domestic Australian market.
“As people choose to stay closer to home rather than travel long distances on holiday, they may well choose New Zealand as a destination,” he said.