Quartet cough up for Open

Bolstered: The 2017 ISPS Handa NZ Open - co-hosted and underwritten by Millbrook Resort - has four new sponsors aboard

Four major Queenstown tourism operators are swinging in behind the New Zealand Open golf tournament.

Coronet Peak skifield, Real Journeys, which operates the historic Earnslaw steamship, five-star Eichardt’s Hotel and jetboat operator Shotover Jet – as the Queenstown Group – are chipping in.

The 2017 Open runs from March 9 till 12 at neighbouring Arrowtown courses, Millbrook Resort and The Hills.

Japanese corporation ISPS Handa is the event’s sole naming sponsor after BMW pulled out.

Tournament director John Hart says: “It is especially exciting to have four of Queenstown’s most long-standing and successful tourism companies, all of them recognised around the world by the many visitors to this region, supporting next year’s tournament.”

The new sponsors say they’re delighted to support the event because the TV coverage, particularly in the key tourism markets of Asia and Australia, showcases Queenstown so well.

Real Journeys boss Richard Lauder says: “As a group, we want to communicate that Queenstown is an all-season destination with world-class accommodation, attractions and activities.”

Coronet Peak’s owner Trojan Holdings had already been a major Open sponsor, as owner of the Milford Track guided walk, but it’s now handed over the reins to sister company NZSki.

Tickets for the Open – which concludes this time at Millbrook – go on sale tomorrow at www.ticketek.co.nz and www.nzopen.co.nz.

The prices remain unchanged – $25 for one day and $60 for four days.

Ticket-buyers go into a draw for a prize package provided by all four new sponsors as well as the tournament organisers.