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BY Tom Parry


WTM 2017: Texas tally gets Norwegian lift

A soon-to-launch Norwegian service between Austin and London will enable the Texan city to grow its visitor numbers from the UK and “throughout the world”.

Texas State Capitol Building.jpg

"With year-on-year increases in visitors from the UK and beyond, we anticipate this flight will be very successful."

The route, which begins carrying passengers across the Atlantic on March 27, 2018, will offer three flights per day to Austin from Gatwick, the British capital’s second largest airport.

Visit Austin, the city’s travel marketing and representation organisation, said it believed the new route, which will be operated using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, would “complement” the destination’s British Airways service currently flying from London’s Heathrow.

The organisation said the BA service “had been a success since its launch” in 2014 in helping to fuel visitor traffic to the Texas state capital, adding that Norwegian’s upcoming low-cost option would be “tapping into a slightly different audience” of traveller.

Among Austin’s main draws for both domestic and international visitors is the South by Southwest (SXSW) arts festival that is held annually in March.

Visit Austin said it had seen “strong” performances from its UK, Mexican, Chinese, Canadian and German tourist markets during 2017, with an aim to target increased growth in the number of New Zealand, Australian and French visitors over the next 12 months.

Tom Noonan, president and chief executive, added: “The new service from Gatwick will provide opportunity for additional visitors connecting from throughout the world and from the UK.

“With year-on-year increases in visitors from the UK and beyond, we anticipate this flight will be very successful. The addition of this route is also a direct reflection of how our city continues to evolve as a premier destination for travellers.”

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