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Air New Zealand launches Aitutaki ‘$1’ fare

Saturday 20 March 2010 | Published in Regional

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Air New Zealand will run a ‘$1 airfare’ campaign next week to assist Aitutaki’s recovery following Cyclone Pat.

According to CI Tourism NZ manager Chris Ingram, NZ residents booking Rarotonga holidays between March 21-29 can also purchase a flight to Aitutaki for $1.

“I know it sounds insane but it is completely true, you can fly from Rarotonga to Aitutaki for one NZ dollar.”

The campaign was announced in NZ and at the opening of the four day CI Tourism Travel Mart conference with New Zealand wholesalers yesterday at the Crown Beach Resort.

The ten wholesalers met with local tourism property operators yesterday and will spend today and tomorrow in Aitutaki visiting accommodation properties there and experiencing the tours and adventure on offer.

The wholesalers put together travel packages that deliver around 70 percent of tourism income, says CI Tourism board chairman Tata Crocombe.

Cyclone Pat’s impact last month could have been significantly more damaging but Ingram says the financial impact of tourists not travelling to Aitutaki is the immediate concern.

“I know people want to help and donations are definitely needed but the very best way people can support the people of Aitutaki, is to go up there for a holiday. Aitutaki is operating as normal with a couple of minor exceptions.”

Originally from Aitutaki, Ingram says the island is hugely reliant on tourism.

“The drop in visitor numbers over the last month is being felt deeply across the island. Hotels don’t need as many staff on duty, the restaurants aren’t as busy, neither are the tour companies taking people fishing and snorkelling.”

Keen to invigorate the recovery CI Tourism approached Air NZ.

We couldn’t have asked for a better response,” said Ingram.