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Strong lead into summer with record arrivals to NZ in November

Tourism New Zealand CE Kevin Bowler says the growth in arrivals during November, up 8.2 per cent for the month compared to last November, has given the tourism sector a strong lead into the summer season.

"Very positively, the growth is driven by a continued recovery in our long staying traditional markets, with arrivals from the USA up 28.4 per cent, Canada up 27.6 per cent and Germany up 23.7 per cent; as well as our biggest visitor market Australia up 7.5 per cent for the month."

For the year ending November total arrivals were up 5.3 per cent, with holiday arrivals up 9.2 per cent.

Kevin says the US market has performed very strongly in 2013 and continues to look positive going into summer.

"The November numbers were inflated by more North American's flying into Auckland to take cruises around New Zealand compared to last year - but even taking cruise passengers out, total arrivals from the USA and Canada were well up on last year.

"We are hopeful of continued growth in the medium term from the North American market, following the release of the second movie in the Hobbit Trilogy and our continued work to build on the momentum we are seeing in awareness and preference for New Zealand with our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign."

The strong growth from Europe is also very positive, says Kevin.

"Germany is proving to be incredibly resilient performer, while the stabilisation of the UK market is ahead of our projections. Tourist arrivals from the UK are now showing signs of sustainable growth, after many years of weakness. UK holiday visitors are up 7.4 per cent for the month and 5.1 per cent so far for 2013."

Australia, up 7.5 per cent in November, provided some significant additional volume during the month; an extra 6,976 visitors.

While total arrivals from China were up 18.7 per cent for the year, arrivals decreased during November (-15.8 per cent), following a fall in October. However, Kevin says while overall numbers are weaker, there is a positive sign of a change in the visitor mix from China based on visa types being issued.

"This continued shift to a better quality visitor and visitor experience aligns with our activity and strategy to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand."

Arrivals across Asia showed strong growth during the month with Japan up 5.6 per cent, Hong Kong up 18.5 per cent, Korea up 3.4 per cent, Singapore up 26.6 per cent and Thailand up 50.8 per cent.

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