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July arrivals deliver strong low-season for tourism industry

Growth in international visitor arrivals during July has delivered a strong start to the winter season for the industry - with arrivals up 5.9 per cent against July last year.

Total arrivals also increased, up 0.5 per cent on the year ending July 2012, a year boosted by Rugby World Cup arrivals, and up 6.0 per cent compared to the year ending July 2011.

A record 183,700 visits to New Zealand delivered the highest ever July month. There was also a significant additional 83,000 holiday stay days generated during the month compared to July last year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the increase can be attributed to more than just the traditional ski arrivals.

"The strong increase in Australian holiday arrivals, up 6.6 per cent for the month of July, can be largely attributed to those taking short breaks for a ski or winter break - delivering an extra 25,000 holiday stay days for the month.

"However, the continued month-on-month growth from the long-haul markets of the UK (up 21.7 per cent), USA (up 11.5 per cent) and Germany (up 8.6 per cent) is really encouraging. These markets have proved challenging for some time and the increase in arrivals each month since January is a positive change.

"The growth from the valuable long-stay UK market is an excellent result, with an impressive 24 per cent increase in holiday arrivals during the month."

Arrivals from Asia also increased, with China up 25.2 per cent and Singapore up 11.3 per cent.

"Our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign continues to have a positive effect across offshore markets- providing additional motivation and reason to travel to New Zealand.

"Results from the International Visitor Survey from January to June reconfirmed this, with 8.5 per cent of all international visitors say The Hobbit was a factor in their decision to visit New Zealand."

The strong results come a day before the release of the latest edition of the '100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand' campaign, with the reveal of the new commercial at the annual TEC Conference in Masterton on Thursday.

Contact Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
leah.phelps@tnz.govt.nz; phone +64 21 843 896