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Surge in Chinese Visitors Good for NZ Tourism

Date Published: 21 December 2010

A surge in Chinese visitor numbers has helped New Zealand record a 3.0 per cent increase in total visitor arrivals for the month of November.

Arrival data released by Statistics New Zealand on Tuesday shows that 14,875 Chinese visitors arrived in New Zealand during November, an increase of 34.5 per cent on November 2009 and an all-time record for Chinese visitors in a November month.

South Korea (up 41.3%), India (up 23.9%) and Japan (up 4.3%) also grew strongly, contributing 17,200 visitors between them during November - an increase of 2,664 on the same month last year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the continued growth from Asia had outweighed the 13.6% drop in arrivals from the UK during November. The UK contributed 21,175 visitors in November this year, compared to 24,518 in November 2009.

Australian arrival numbers for November remained consistent with last year, up 0.1 per cent in November 2010 compared to the same month last year, and US arrivals rose 2.0% in November over the same period last year.

"The Asian economies continue to grow at an impressive rate and the region will remain New Zealand's fastest growing source of international visitor arrivals," Kevin Bowler said.

"In the year to November arrivals from China have been phenomenal, showing growth of 15 per cent. We've had 120,222 Chinese arrivals in the past 12 months, and the continued growth is great news for New Zealand tourism operators in the lead up to Christmas and the summer peak tourism season."

The most recent International Visitor Survey released by the Ministry of Economic Development's Tourism Strategy Group, indicates holiday visitors from China spent $3,073 each while in New Zealand inthe year to September. The average spend for all holiday visitors to New Zealand in the year to September 2010 was $2,840.

Kevin Bowler said further growth was expected in Asia with new air links opening in 2011, including a new China Airlines route linking Taipei to Auckland and a Jetstar service from Singapore to Auckland.

Earlier this month, Thai Airways announced plans to increase flights on its Bangkok to Auckland route, from five per week to seven in July 2011. Other new routes opening next year include an AirAsia X direct service between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch, and a China Southern Airlines service from Guangzhou, in Southern China, to Auckland.

International Visitor Arrivals November 2010:

Country Arrivals for Nov Change from Nov 2009 Arrivals full year to Nov Change for full year to Nov
Australia 84,625 +0.1% 1,115,408 +4.4%
USA 19,150 +2.0% 191,902 -1.6%
UK 21,175 -13.6% 237,909 -7.8%
China 14,875 +34.5% 120,222 +15.0%
Japan 8,375 +4.3% 88,324 +12.0%
South Korea 6,175 +41.3% 67,094 +27.9%
Germany 8,015 -0.9% 65,221 +1.9%
Canada 5,050 +2.6% 49,082 +1.1%
Total 226,455 +3.0% 2,520,725 +3.3%