7 Dec 2010

More airline seats hoped to boost Niue tourism

1:08 pm on 7 December 2010

Niue hopes to see a boost in tourism numbers from this weekend when Air New Zealand's first regular A320 flight touches down on Friday.

Up til now a smaller 737's been flying once a week between Auckland and Niue.

Niue's Premier Toke Talagi says the bigger plane means visitor arrivals have the potential to increase by about 30 percent to 170 per week.

He says tourism development is key for the island and he hopes a second weekly flight will be added in future.

"For me it's just another increase in the capacity that we need so that we can, in the long term, increase and grow the economy here."

Mr Talagi says to cater for the increased number of tourists, the refurbished Matavai Resort should be ready by the beginning of next season, hostel accommodation is progressing at Liolau and a 40 room Chinese-backed hotel is expected to open in 2012.