South Korea is New Zealand's seventh largest market in terms of
visitor numbers and our seventh largest source of expenditure.
After several years of year-on-year growth in visitor numbers as
South Korea's economy emerged from a period of recession, arrivals
slumped 21.6 per cent in 2011 (to 52,787), as a result of the
Christchurch earthquake and ash cloud disruptions caused by the
Chilean volcanic eruption.
Numbers are expected to recover during 2012, however, and early
signs are positive. March arrivals showed the first significant
sign of that resurgence to be up 12.3 per cent on 2011, and this
was followed by a 38.2 per cent increase in arrivals in April.
More accessible airline capacity - as a result of Korean Air
increasing the frequency of its service to Auckland - improved
demand for tour group bookings, and an emerging independent
traveler market are all expected to have a positive impact on
Despite the decline in numbers in 2011, Korean visitors still
represent a valuable segment of New Zealand's tourism market,
spending close to NZD$130 million in the year ending February,
2012, or $2600 per person - above the $2400 average for all
Total demand for overseas travel in South Korea is expected to
grow strongly this season, despite risk factors including rising
oil prices, elections, and fluctuating exchange rates. Leading
travel wholesalers are forecasting significant growth in bookings
in 2012, with one forecasting demand for Asia-Pacific destinations
to increase by over 20 per cent, led by demand for short-haul
destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Palau. New Zealand
also faces competition from the United States, which has grown in
popularity due to a favorable exchange rate, low airfares, and
strong publicity around the visa waiver programme.
The majority (over 70 per cent) of South Koreas travel to New
Zealand on pre-arranged group or semi-structured tour packages
organised by South Korean tour companies. Just over half (51 per
cent) combine a trip to New Zealand with another destination.
Tourism New Zealand is working with South Korea's travel trade
to develop greater focus on mono-destination travel targeting the
high-end luxury, and independent travel markets. These sectors have
been identified as having considerable potential to help build
profitability in the South Korean market, and they match well with
what New Zealand can offer holidaymakers.
Published monthly, the International Visitor Arrivals (IVA)
survey measures international visitor arrivals into New Zealand by
month and by year. For more information on IVA visit Statistics New Zealand.
Published quarterly, the International Visitor Survey (IVS) is
carried out by the Tourism Strategy Group. Research is based on
around 5,200 interviews conducted with international visitors as
they depart from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch airports. For
more information on IVS visit the Economic Development Group's website.
For more information including tourism research and data, policy,
and publications please see the Ministry of Business, Innovation and