Commenting on the results, Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the increase shows the industry's resilience during what is traditionally a low season.
"While total arrivals for the month of July 2012 were down 1.4 per cent, there continues to be positive indicators from key markets with arrivals from China up 24.9 per cent and Australia up 0.4 per cent."
Tourism New Zealand's strategy continues to be focused on growing total visitor stay days. Over 50.6 million stay days were generated by international arrivals, an increase of 1.2 per cent against the same year prior.
"With over 12 million stay days, Australian visitors accounted for 24 per cent of total stay days in the last year. As the largest single proportion of total stay days, this reiterates the importance of this market to the New Zealand tourism industry."
"It is also encouraging to see Japanese visitor arrivals up for the month signifying a recovery in that market."
For July 2012 Japanese arrivals totaled 6,048, fractionally down against the 6,480 arrivals in July 2010, which was prior to the significant decline in Japanese arrivals which followed Christchurch and Japan's earthquakes early last year.
Traditional long-haul markets continue to be a challenge with total arrivals from the US down 2.3 per cent, and the UK down 2.8 per cent for the year.
Research conducted by Tourism New Zealand in Germany shows concern about the Eurozone economic crisis is impacting on preference for a holiday in New Zealand.*
"The research shows that as a result of the current uncertainty, many international travellers are looking for less expensive holidays and options that are closer to home, weakening demand for long-haul holidays to destination such as New Zealand.
Issued by Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
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*Source: Tourism New Zealand Active Considerer Monitor, Germany, July 2012