Arrivals in February 2015 were up 14.0 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The data, released today by Statistics New Zealand, confirms that much of the growth is driven from the higher-value holiday visitor, with holiday arrivals for the month up 24.2 per cent.
As a result, total arrivals for the year ending February are up 5.1 per cent and holiday arrivals up 7.8 per cent pushing New Zealand's total arrivals above 2.9 million annually of the first time ever.
China has seen staggering growth for the month with holiday arrivals up over 100 per cent.
"Chinese New Year is a key travel period for this market so it is great to see that reflected in the months arrivals," says Kevin.
"What is even more encouraging is the increase in holiday stay days, up 30.6 per cent for the year ended February, which is a great sign that we are attracting more high quality Chinese visitors."
Growth for the month was further bolstered by the Cricket World Cup which kicked off in February. Tourism New Zealand's activity around the major sporting event has worked to target the key markets of Australia, India and the UK.
"As a result these markets have seen positive growth for the month with Australia up 1.6 per cent, the UK up 1.8 per cent and India up an incredible 36.0 per cent.
"The event continues into March so I am confident we will continue to see the flow on effects in next month's arrivals."
Holiday results are strong out of the Asian markets of Singapore (up 9.2 per cent), Japan (up 11.6 per cent), Korea (up 12.2 per cent) for the year ending February 2015.
Tourism New Zealand's priority emerging markets are performing well year-on-year with total arrivals from Brazil up 12.4 per cent and Indonesia up 13.3 per cent.
Year-on-year growth has been further supported by solid holiday arrivals from Western markets with holiday arrivals from the US, UK and Germany up 13.8 per cent, 2.6 per cent and 11.8 per cent respectively.
Our largest source market, Australia, has seen steady growth over the summer months with holiday arrivals up 1.4 per cent for the year ending February.
Contact Georgina Maguire, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +64 21 478 659