The coming months will be a busy time for New Zealand with 85,000 international fans anticipated to follow the fortunes of their teams throughout the country during the six week tournament but North Americans are being reminded there’s plenty of room for everyone in New Zealand this Spring.

Air New Zealand Deputy CEO Norm Thompson says, “The key to maintaining our regular non-rugby tourist flows during this period is to encourage them to head south as the rugby traffic migrates north.”

With this in mind Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand have launched a joint campaign in the USA and Canada promoting spring in the South Island.  Air New Zealand is backing this up with a special South Island Explorer Pass for travel from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, or Queenstown between August 13 and October 30. The fare includes three free domestic stopovers, as well as a free stopover in Rarotonga.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager, Marketing Communications Justin Watson says all visitors will receive a great kiwi welcome this Spring.

“Whether visitors are after rest, relaxation, adventure or adrenalin; New Zealand has it all with rich experiences to cater for every taste. And, this year it is even more special thanks to a variety of events and activities taking place in every pocket of New Zealand in September and October as part of the largest national celebration New Zealand has ever hosted - REAL New Zealand Festival.”

In addition to the joint North American activity, Air New Zealand is also offering two free domestic fares in conjunction with return fares to New Zealand for travel from Japan between October 3 and 24 and from China between October 5 and 24.

The United States is New Zealand's third-largest international tourism market with 189,250 arrivals for year ending May 2011, and contributing NZ$458.1m to New Zealand’s economy.

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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320