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Air New Zealand will be introducing a permanent Saturday service to Niue from April, in addition to the regular Tuesday flight.

Photo/ Niue Tourism

Pacific Region

Extra flight expected to boost Niue tourism

Air New Zealand will be introducing a permanent Saturday service from April, in addition to the regular Tuesday flight.

Alakihihifo Vailala, Te Rito Journalism Cadet
Published
01 December 2023, 10:49am
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Lower airfares and more tourism are on the cards for Niue.

Air New Zealand will be introducing a permanent Saturday service from April, in addition to the regular Tuesday flight.

But demand has been so high they’re also currently offering a second weekly flight until the end of January, with return airfares as low as $726 still available for next month.

Earlier this year, flights were booked out weeks in advance, with return tickets reaching up to $1800.

Niue Tourism Adviser Hayden Porter says the season was as big as it could be.

Air New Zealand did offer larger aircrafts during the busy season, but Porter says those seats filled up quickly.

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“There were literally no seats left on any of the flights so we literally couldn’t get any busier.”

After January there will be an eight-week gap with one flight per week before Air New Zealand permanently adds two flights weekly.

Niue Tourism Adviser Hayden Porter says introducing a larger airplane and a second flight each week will boost local tourism and bring airfares down.

He says adding another weekly flight will result in more business for Niue.

“It’s easier for the exporters to get their product to market as well. Whether it’s freight in or out of Niue but freight out means taro, coconuts and vanilla.”

The Niue economy was badly impacted by Covid-19 and the lack of tourism – an “absolutely critical” industry which he estimates contributes about 25 per cent of Niue’s GDP.

“It's certainly the biggest industry in Niue. We worked out in terms of the visitor numbers, because of the smaller population, it's one of the highest ratios of tourists to population anywhere,” he says.

Prior to the pandemic, tourism alone was generating $25 million annually into the Niue economy.

Before Covid, Niue was attracting about 10,500 visitors travelling by air and staying about eight and half nights. This year Niue achieved about 70 per cent of that.

Porter said the first goal is get to visitor numbers back to those pre-Covid levels.

In terms of accommodation, Porter says Niue can cope with the two weekly flights.

“If we want to grow any further or have a bigger aircraft … then we certainly need some additional accommodation. There are a number of existing operators that are looking at expansion.”

Niue is also conscious of the need for more tourism workers as the industry continues to grow.

“Sometimes that is challenging, but the product is there to service what we've got.

“We've been surveying recently in terms of satisfaction and after several months of surveying, I'm really proud to say that 99.5 per cent would recommend Niue to others and 98 per cent of visitors surveyed said that they would return to Niue in the future. So they're really staggering results.”

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