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Visitor Arrivals Steady Heading Into Winter

Date Published: 21 June 2010

International visitor arrivals are holding steady as the tourism industry heads into the off-peak season, with visitor arrivals down only slightly in May compared with the same month last year.

Statistics New Zealand figures out today show international visitor arrivals were down 0.4 per cent in May 2010, compared to 2009, to 141,000 visitors. They were up 3 per cent for the year to date.

Arrivals from the Asian markets of China, Japan and South Korea saw significant growth compared with last May, when outbound travel from these countries was heavily impacted by the Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreak.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says arrivals from the Asian markets are yet to return to the levels seen prior to the global economic downturn, but there are still signs they are returning to strength.

"We're unsure of the impact the Shanghai Expo will have on travel from China in the short term, but our work in this market is firmly focused on driving growth beyond 2010," says Kevin Bowler.

Arrivals from the United States are also showing signs of improvement, with arrivals up 6.3 per cent (to 11,520 visitors) in May. This is a positive for New Zealand following a drop in arrivals of 14.6 per cent in April compared with 2009. Growth has come off the back of affordable airfares, returning economic stability and some high-profile campaign and PR activity in market.

Arrivals from the UK continue to fall back (down 14.7 per cent), with the May general election, ongoing economic uncertainty and the tail of disruptions caused by last month's Icelandic ash cloud all impacting travel from New Zealand's second-largest visitor market.

Kevin Bowler says New Zealand is also likely to see some impacts over June/July as Europeans stay closer to home during the FIFA World Cup, and backpackers stop off in other destinations to watch the World Cup games.

Arrivals from Australia were down 4.7 per cent in May, compared with 2009 when the market was up 15.8 per cent. With 64,300 arrivals, however, the market is still performing strongly. Arrivals are up 11.2 per cent for the year to date, with holiday arrivals up 19.0 per cent.

International Visitor Arrivals May 2010

Month of May 2010: Year-ending May 2010:
Australia 64,300 Down 4.7% 1,114,121 Up 11.2%

UK

9,040 Down 14.7% 250,068 Down 5.1%
USA 11,520 Up 6.3% 195,036 Down 1.0%
China 7,740 Up 37.8% 102,246 Down 7.1%
Japan 5,340 Up 51.4% 80,687 Down 13.4%
Germany 1,820 Down 6.4% 65,049 Up 3.3%
South Korea 4,300 Up 52.2% 60,198 Down 6.9%
Canada 2,260 Up 4.6% 48,777

Down 1.9%

For more information contact:
Sue Allen - 029 917 5466; suea@tnz.govt.nz

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