According to the Cook Islands International Visitor Survey released in December last year, the total average spent per day by a Jetstar passenger is $53 less than that of an Air New Zealand passenger.
A visitor flying with Air New Zealand spends an average of $240 a day compared to $187 spent by a Jetstar passenger.
And a passenger travelling with Air New Zealand spends a total of $2044 compared to Jetstar passengers’ average $1608 during their stay in the country.
Professor Simon Milne of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute which conducted the survey, said the study proved the yield is lower for visitors travelling with budget airline Jetstar.
“It’s a lower yield group (with Jetstar) but they are staying slightly longer. They are saying that they are more likely to come back next time wanting to visit the outer islands,” Milne told the tourism industry representatives at the Global Breakfast Update on Rarotonga earlier this month.
“I think it’s not saying one is better than the other or worse than the other. It’s just something that you can think about and this evidence is probably a useful thing to reflect on as you look forward in terms of strategy in development.”
The survey also revealed visitors flying with Jetstar tend to be younger, while people above 50 years of age choose to fly with Air New Zealand.
Twenty-four per cent of visitors coming to the Cook Islands between the ages of 18 and 29 years choose Jetstar, 14 per cent from 30-39 year age group and 22 per cent from 40-49 years group.
In the case of Air New Zealand, nine per cent of their passengers fall in the age group 18-29 years, 12 per cent 30-39, and 20 per cent 40-49.
Thirty per cent of passengers in the 50-59 age group travel with Air New Zealand compared to 23 per cent with Jetstar.
Passengers with household income under $150,000 mostly choose to fly with Jetstar, while those earning more than $150,000 prefer Air New Zealand.
Most of the Jetstar passengers also make their own travel arrangements while most Air New Zealand passengers tend to make travel arrangements through a travel agent.
“The Jetstar visitors tend to be considerably younger than those coming on Air New Zealand and their household income tends to be lower as well,” Milne said.
“Interestingly, 70 per cent of those visitors coming through with Jetstar made their own travel arrangements using the internet, compared to about 50 per cent for those traveling with Air New Zealand.
“This 70 per cent are the technology-savvy group that are actually using these kinds of tools rather than relying on travel agents, etc.”
Milne said the survey was conducted to see the contrast between visitors travelling with the two airlines from New Zealand, to help the industry understand their customers better.