"The extra 114,112 holiday arrivals during the year equates to an estimated $365 million additional expenditure - providing significant value to both the industry and the wider New Zealand economy," says Kevin Bowler, CE Tourism New Zealand.
With 381,900 arrivals during the month, December was the highest monthly total ever, up 4.9 per cent on December 2012.
"Throughout the year our traditional long staying markets, and biggest visitor market Australia, have performed particularly strongly, driving this growth in holiday arrivals."
Holiday arrivals from the US are up 21.3 per cent, Canada up 7.7 per cent, Germany up 9.4 per cent, and Australia up 8.1 per cent, for the 2013 calendar year.
"Seeing this continued growth is extremely positive, with Germany showing a great resurgence. Furthermore, the stabilisation of the UK market continues ahead of our projections, with holiday arrivals up 9.9 per cent for the month and 5.7 per cent for 2013.
Total arrivals from China were up 16.2 per cent for the year, however, monthly arrivals continued to show the impact of the China Travel Law introduced 1 October 2013, down 10.6 per cent.
"What is becoming clear is how the new China Travel Law is supporting our strategy to accelerate the trend towards higher quality itineraries with better experiences, to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand. We are already seeing an increase in visitors travelling more widely - with expenditure in the South Island increasing 72 per cent* from October to December compared to the same period in 2012.
"This is very positive as we head into the Chinese New Year celebration starting tomorrow which is historically China's busiest travel period."
Annual arrivals across the wider Asia and South East Asia region were strong, with India up 3.8 per cent, Singapore up 16.1 per cent and Thailand up 22.2 per cent.
Arrivals from Indonesia, a new priority emerging market where Tourism New Zealand has increased its activity since 1 July 2013, were up 11.9 per cent for the year.
Contact: Leah McNeil, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
firstname.lastname@example.org | phone +64 21 843 896
Notes * Referenced from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Regional Tourism Indicators