A flock of 25 Kiwi tourism operators have landed in the United States this week showcasing the best experiences of New Zealand’s leading destinations – Auckland and Queenstown – and encouraging more travellers to enjoy the country’s majestic landscapes and rich cultural experiences.

The trip follows the strongest ever December-January summer period for US visitor arrivals into New Zealand, up 4 percent on the pre-pandemic high of 2019-2020, and up 31 percent on the 2022-2023 December to January period. This corresponds with New Zealand also enjoying the strongest ever connectivity with North America, and a favourable exchange rate.

A group of 25 New Zealand tourism operators are visiting the United States to promote travel to the country, and share the Tiaki Promise – a commitment to care for New Zealand.

The group of New Zealand tourism operators are visiting seven cities across the United States (US) to promote three nights in each Auckland and Queenstown as the perfect foundation to any New Zealand itinerary, and sharing the Tiaki Promise – a commitment to care for New Zealand while here and for future generations.

Annie Dundas, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Director of Destination, is travelling with the group and says: “It’s clear that demand for New Zealand is very high, and that airline capacity and frequency - particularly the direct flight to New York - is a game changer for many. Agents can’t get enough of the information we are sharing about Auckland and Queenstown. Golf, particularly the renowned luxury resort Te Arai Links, has also piqued a lot of interest.

“It’s been powerful to share New Zealand’s indigenous Māori culture and the story of the Tiaki Promise which has resonated strongly,” says Dundas.

As complementary destinations, leisure and business travelers to Auckland and Queenstown can experience luxury accommodation, enriching arts and cultural experiences, unforgettable dining, world-class golf, adventure, and the unique nature and wildlife of New Zealand.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city; an urban oasis offering rich cultural experiences, an amazing food and wine scene and world-class beaches, islands, and expansive harbours. Queenstown is renowned for its distinct four seasons, huge range of attractions and experiences and innovative approach to destination stewardship.

“New Zealand is an incredibly special place, and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to care for our people, place and culture. In Queenstown we encourage visitors to slow down and experience a deeper connection with our people and place. Our tourism operators are committed to sustainable practices to ensure travelers tread lightly, leaving the least impact on our environment as possible,” said Mat Woods, Chief Executive of Destination Queenstown.

Tourism New Zealand research indicates there is an audience of around 51 million Americans who are actively considering a visit to New Zealand within the upcoming three years.

Auckland Airport Chief Customer Officer, Scott Tasker, said air connectivity options between North America and New Zealand have never been better, with more airlines flying more direct routes into Auckland.

“We have Air Canada, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas Airways and United Airlines flying non-stop to Auckland from eight North American cities during the Southern Hemisphere summer. For those exploring beyond Auckland to Queenstown, there’s easy connectivity on one of 15 daily flights. It really is a great time for North Americans to start planning – and booking – a trip to New Zealand,” said Mr Tasker.

Auckland is the most connected city in Australasia to North America, with eight airlines offering significant customer choice of up to 84 flights per week over the summer period. Queenstown is arguably the most popular visitor destination in New Zealand and has a strong connection to Auckland with 93 flights per week.  

Operators in attendance: Accor Hotels,Altitude Tours,BLACK NZ,Destination Queenstown,Explore Group New Zealand,Fullers 360,Glenorchy Air,Heliworks Queenstown,Heritage Hotels,Millennium & Copthorne Hotels,Ngāi Tahu Tourism,Oxbow Adventure Co,RealNZ,Skyline Queenstown,Southern Discoveries,Sudima Hotels,Tātaki Auckland Unlimited,Te Arai Links,Te Manutaupua,The Big Foody Food Tours,The Helicopter Line,Wētā Workshop Unleashed,Ziptrek Ecotours

For more information:

Auckland: www.aucklandnz.com
Queenstown: https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/media/
Product guides for all operators available on request.

For images:

Within the Google Drive there are folders of images of Auckland and Queenstown, as well as the group photo featured in the media release.  


Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Airport, and Destination Queenstown work in partnership to promote a compelling proposition for North American leisure, business and incentive travellers to enjoy an Auckland-Queenstown experience. The partnership sees relationships and partnerships collectively leveraged and the three organisations working together on joint sales calls and in-market representation, road shows, media and travel agent visits and promotion.

Eight airlines fly to/from Auckland, offering significant customer choice of up to 84 flights per week over the summer period. 

Auckland is connected to six non-stop destinations year-round in North America; Los Angeles LAX, San Francisco SFO, Houston IAH, New York JFK, Honolulu HNL, and Vancouver YVR. In addition, there is a seasonal connection to Dallas DFW. Air New Zealand service to Chicago ORD pauses from 31 March 2024 to 25 October 2024.

  • There are 93 connections between Auckland and Queenstown per week.
  • In 2019, almost half (46 percent) of all US visitor spend was in Auckland and Queenstown.
  • The US was Auckland’s second largest visitor market in 2023, with over 273,000 visitor arrivals to Auckland Airport (13.4 percent of total).    
  • 2023 saw 337,000 visitors from the US to New Zealand, 81 percent of which arrived in Auckland.

Statistics New Zealand’s visitor arrivals by country of residence data shows:

Arrivals by residents of United States, total New Zealand Ports:

December 2019 - January 2020: 99,225
December 2022 – January 2023: 78,374
December 2023 – January 2024: 103,037


Destination Queenstown (DQ) is the regional tourism organisation responsible for the marketing of Queenstown, New Zealand. DQ works closely with its members, partners and industry groups across the trade, media, consumer marketing, and business events channels to promote Queenstown as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four-season lake and alpine resort. 


Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s economic and cultural agency committed to making our region a desirable place to live, work, visit, invest and do business. To find out more visit aucklandunlimited.com.

ABOUT Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport is New Zealand’s largest international airport and plays a key role in the trade and tourism sectors. With 17.5 million passengers travelling through the airport’s terminals during 2023, Auckland Airport handled 76 percent of all international and 95 percent of long- haul travellers to and from New Zealand. Auckland Airport has 27 airlines flying to 42 international destinations.