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Encouraging signs in International Visitor Survey

There are encouraging signs in the latest international visitor survey for the 12 months to the end of March 2013.

The survey, produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) shows a nominal 2 per cent drop year-on-year in total visitor expenditure, to $5.5 billion. The average spend per visitor has remained constant, at $2,300.

The previous 12 month period being compared with included the Rugby World Cup which attracted an additional 133,000 international visitors to New Zealand.

In the previous survey release - for the year ended December 2012 - total expenditure was down by 6 per cent year-on-year, so there has been a significant improvement in the past three months.

Market by market the results differ markedly. Total estimated expenditure from Chinese visitors is up 42 per cent and from Japan up 22per cent; while the UK is down by 25per cent as that market struggles with economic concerns and a weak currency.

Supported by the increase in funding recently announced by the Government, Tourism New Zealand continues to focus its activities on attracting high-value visitors to New Zealand, through initiatives like the Premier Kiwi Partnership programme in China.