December holiday arrivals wrap up a year of record growth

International visitor arrivals for the year ending December 2015 have rounded out 12 months of record growth for the tourism industry – pushing total arrivals to 3.13 million. 

The figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show that holiday arrivals continue to lead the growth with 1.56 million arrivals delivering 14.3 per cent growth on the previous year - while total arrivals are up 9.6 per cent.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says December has topped off a significant year.

“This is a really exciting time for the industry with positive signals everywhere.

“Seeing the growth driven by holiday arrivals is particularly impressive, delivering an outstanding year for everyone in the sector. The momentum started following the work we undertook to support the release of The Hobbit Trilogy and we have continued to build on this with our ongoing 100% Pure New Zealand campaign and PR activity offshore.

 “The growth we are seeing now and predicting for the months ahead will provide significant benefit for many communities as tourism visitors and associated spend flows through local economies,” says Kevin.

The US continued to show strong growth with holiday arrivals up 12.5 per cent for the year. 

“The launch of Air New Zealand’s new direct route from Houston in early December, and increased capacity this delivers, will have played a role in achieving an additional 3,152 visitors from the US – pushing total arrivals for the month up 10.3 per cent.” 

China continues to see incredible growth with total arrivals up 34.4 per cent and holiday arrival up 39.7 cent for the year.

“As we head towards the Chinese New Year period, a key travel period for Chinese travellers in late January and early February, we are expecting to see this growth continue.”

Australia has seen another period of solid growth in holiday arrivals, up 7.8 per cent for the year. This uplift means an additional 342,000 holiday stay days over the 12 months.

Arrival figures for the markets of the UK and Germany have also shown solid growth, with holiday arrivals for Germany up 9.7 per cent and the UK up 10.9 per cent year on year.

Tourism New Zealand’s prioritised emerging markets of Indonesia, India and Brazil continue grow, with total arrivals up 5.8 per cent and 23.0 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively for the year ending December.  



Leah McNeil, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand

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