For the year ended February 2014 arrivals were 2.77 million, a new 12 month record and a 7.3 per cent increase.
Statistic New Zealand's International Travel and Migration figures released today showed holiday arrivals were up by 10.6 per cent in the past year.
2014 has seen continued strong performance from key target markets. Holiday arrivals in January/February were up from all five of our largest markets: Australia up 12.1 per cent; China up 15.9 per cent; USA up 5.8 per cent; UK up 7.8 per cent; and Germany up 26.2 per cent.
While there have been a range of influences, the latest data from the International Visitor Survey (conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) shows that the popularity of The Hobbit trilogy and the link with New Zealand as Middle-earth is a key factor in growing the value of international visitors to New Zealand.
"The latest survey data now available from Oct-Dec 2013 shows that 14 per cent of holiday travellers to New Zealand state The Hobbit trilogy was a factor in deciding to choose New Zealand as a destination," said Kevin Bowler, CE Tourism New Zealand.
"It is clear our 100% Pure New Zealand, 100% Middle-earth campaign is delivering significant value - and has been a success from every angle."
At a country level it is holiday travellers from Germany (21 per cent); the USA (19 per cent); China (17 per cent) and the UK (12 per cent) who were most motivated by the Middle-earth connection.
"So arrivals are up, and one in seven holidaymakers is telling us that The Hobbit was part of their decision to come here.
"When you consider the time lapse that there can be between deciding to take a holiday and completing your trip, particularly for long-haul markets, we can expect the Hobbit influence to continue for some considerable time".
Kevin says the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign will continue to feature in the organisation's business activities throughout 2014 and 2015.
Leah McNeil, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
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