It’s business time


Queenstown businesses are buoyant as the town bustles with visitors during the holiday season. 

Spectacular weather and increased flights into the town are easing business woes after a rough economic year. 

“The town has been ticking over quite nicely,” Destination Queenstown chief executive Tony Everitt says. 

The surge in visitors and economic activity is being aided by the beautiful weather and more scheduled flights, he says. 

“People from the North Island have been able to get here easily to take advantage of the weather that we are seeing on the news every night.” 

Everitt says the visitor numbers seem to be similar to last year which is pleasing after a difficult 12 months. 

Everitt tells Mountain Scene there also may have been a shift in the mix of visitors to the town. 

“We are probably seeing more New Zealanders and people from Asia and perhaps less people from the UK because of the economic situation in Europe. 

“People in Asia and NZ are feeling a little bit more robust and confident in the Asia-Pacific side of the world.” 

Queenstown Paraflights co-­­­owner Chris ‘Squid’ Bradley says even though the influx of business is a relief, new adventure tourism registration requirements brought in by the Government last year have impacted profits. 

“Our operating costs have sky- rocketed with adventure activities over the last six months, so we aren’t seeing any records but we are just managing to put food on the table and keep a happy face on people.” 

The operating hours of Paraflights, which runs trips on Lake Wakatipu out of Queens­town Bay, have also been shortened due to higher winds developing in the evenings because of the hot weather, Bradley says. 

“But we aren’t complaining –it’s been really consistent and on par with last summer.” 

Nga Tahu Tourism southern general manager David Kennedy says its Shotover Jet is definitely busier and it would be great if the good times kept booming to make up for the quiet year. 

“It is a relief but in saying that it is only a couple of weeks of the year that we have had the spell of good business – it’d be nice if it continued.”