Mid Canty eyes the big spenders

SHARE

A new high-end tourism package aimed at wealthy Asian travellers will help Mid Canterbury operators tap into the luxury travel market, and high-country clydesdales are part of the picture.
The package will include helicopter pickups from Christchurch airport, luxury accommodation, top quality food and tailor made tours of the district’s attractions and activities.
Experience Mid Canterbury general manager Bruce Moffat said the product aimed to offer wealthy travellers ‘‘the best experience they could have’’.
‘‘The South East Asian travellers we are targeting spend big money over a short period, so if we can base them here in Mid Canterbury for just two or three nights, that will provide a big boost to the local economy,’’ Mr Moffat said.
He said China’s millionaire numbers were growing rapidly and, like other wealthy travellers, they would not blink an eye at spending $20,000 a day on holiday.
Mr Moffat said the tourism package would be launched in early August to inbound tour operators and operators in Asia.
It would include helicopter travel, options to stay in luxury high country accommodation, an array of outdoor experiences, including the clydesdales at Erewhon, and also options to day trip to places like Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo.
Mr Moffat said the tag line ‘‘you can do anything in Mid Canterbury that you can do in Queenstown, except bungy jumping’’ was a fitting description for the district.
‘‘Tourists are always going to want to visit Queenstown, but what we need to do it is to get them to stop off here on the way.
‘‘We have pretty much everything that Queenstown has, with the exception of an abundance of high end accommodation, but here the prices are better and there are less people.’’ Mr Moffat said 18 local operators had attended the recent Trenz tourism show with Experience Mid Canterbury and follow ups were planned with five international operators, which was ‘‘really positive’’.
Experience Mid Canterbury and its partners are also talking with Kiwi Rail around the possibility of linking an interregional tourism product with the popular Tranz Alpine and Coastal Pacific services.
The most recent data shows this district enjoyed a $128m return directly from tourism in 2014/15. The figure is measured by electronic transactions made throughout the district by credit Card, eftpos and ATM transactions that are traced back to the address of cardholders.
District wide accommodation sales increased by 13.2 % for the period from April 2015 to April 2016.