Snow clouds silver lining

Waitaki news
Monday, July 13, 2015

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean believes the snow causing frustration around the region will bring positives for ski tourism.

Ski fields are enjoying a busy school holiday period while a campaign targeting Australian snow sports enthusiasts is underway across the Tasman.

Mrs Dean, who is also the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism says current conditions might prompt tempted Australians, to go ahead and book flights.

"Australia is this country's largest international market for visitors taking part in snow sports.  Our fields are particularly appealing - from the gentle slopes for beginners to the spectacular backcountry skiing for the more adventurous.

"The great thing about Australian snow sport enthusiasts is that they come for a complete holiday - they love hitting the slopes but also want to enjoy other activities. The fact that our fields are in close proximity to a variety of off-mountain activities is great for them and for local businesses.

"Figures from Tourism New Zealand show that Winter has seen sustained growth in ski tourism for Australian visitors, so if we get a solid season that stretches well into October, direct flights from Australia into Christchurch and Queenstown should prove popular.

"Having driven around the region lately, I completely understand how many residents are tiring of the harsh wintry conditions, but hopefully the positive economic impact of a stellar ski season will provide a silver lining."