30 Jan 2012

Asian market growth vital for tourism firms

7:21 am on 30 January 2012

Listed tourism firms able to capture growth from Asian markets are expected to perform better than their counterparts this year.

Forsyth Barr research director Jeremy Simpson says 2012 is likely to be a challenging year for the tourism sector, due to the high New Zealand dollar and the tough economic conditions in the UK and Europe.

But listed firms, like Auckland International Airport Ltd, will benefit from more visitors from Asia.

Mr Simpson says Auckland International Airport Ltd is well positioned because it is driven by head-count and retail spend rather than length of stay.

Although retail spending per visitor is down, he says the airport company is well positioned to capture spending from visitors.

Mr Simpson says a lot of New Zealanders travelling overseas also go through Auckland international airport and much of the new Asian business is also going through Auckland.

Mr Simpson says it's more challenging for some of the other companies such as Air New Zealand and Tourism Holdings and their share prices have come back.

He says in terms of earnings certainty and momentum over the next couple of months, Auckland Airport and Sky City are in a stronger position.