12 Apr 2005

Norfolk Island reports decline in business from Australian tourists

3:54 pm on 12 April 2005

The Norfolk Island government says income generated from Australian tourists has declined, while more people are visiting from New Zealand.

Qantas-backed Norfolk Jet competed against Air New Zealand on the Auckland route for four months last year.

The Norfolk Island secretary to government, Peter Maywald, describes the flights as an experiment.

"I'm not sure they had a major impact on tourist numbers but we have seen a constant growth in the market from New Zealand. There's been a decline in the market from Australia, mostly due to the heavy competition there, in the commercial airline industry and the discounting of fares. But we have in place a range of strategies to try and improve our numbers from Australia."

Mr Maywald suggests officials have been talking about starting flights between Norfolk Island and New Caledonia.