New Zealand welcomed 268,259 international visitors during
February, an increase of 0.2 per cent compared to the same month
last year, according to Statistics New Zealand figures released on
Visitors numbers from Australia (up 2.5 per cent), the US (up 0.8 per cent), Canada (up 3.4 per cent), Germany (up 2.3 per cent) China (up 6.0 per cent), Japan (up 4.5
per cent) and South Korea (up 3.8 per cent) were slightly
higher in February 2011 than the same month last year. However,
growth in overall numbers was tempered by a decline in visitors
from the UK (down 10.2 per cent).
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the
earthquake in Christchurch on February 22 would be a factor in the
slower than usual 0.2 per cent growth in arrivals during February,
although a clearer picture of the impact on visitor numbers would
not be available until the March and April figures were
"Reduced growth in visitor numbers was inevitable; however the
arrival figures for February remained reasonably stable. The
earthquake occurred relatively late in February, so while it is
likely to have had an impact, three quarters of the month had
passed. We will know more about the impact after next month's
According to the Statistics New Zealand figures, there was a 5.6
per cent decrease (7,925 people) in the number of visitors who came
to New Zealand for a holiday during February 2011, compared to
February 2010. That was offset by an increase in people arriving to
visit relatives or friends or for business purposes.
Mr Bowler cautioned that the earthquake in Christchurch and the
subsequent events in Japan in March were likely to have a more
significant impact on arrival numbers during March and April, but
said he was confident growth would return in the lead-up to Rugby
World Cup 2011.
"It has been a tough time for many operators, however Tourism
New Zealand has put in a great deal of work to promote the fact
that New Zealand remains a great holiday destination following the
earthquake, including increasing advertising, marketing and
international media activity, Mr Bowler said.
"I'm confident that with a ski season around the corner, new
airline links coming on stream and 85,000 visitors expected for Rugby World Cup
2011 we will achieve good visitor numbers for 2011."
New Zealand has welcomed 2,534,349 international visitors in the
year to February 2011, an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the
year to February 2010.
International visitor arrivals for February
||Arrivals for Feb
||Change from Feb 2010
||Arrivals full year to Feb
||Change for full year to Feb
|Total (for all markets)