February arrivals down while annual growth maintained

The January celebration of Chinese New Year has contributed to a drop in visitor arrivals for February 2012 when compared to February 2011. However, annual arrivals continue to grow and were up 2.3 per cent year on year.

February 2012 is down 3.4 per cent against the same month last year, according to the International Travel and Migration figures released today by Statistics New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the early Chinese New Year celebrations this year resulted in January achieving a record number of visitor arrivals.

"The flip side of having a record January is that February is down on last year when Chinese New Year was celebrated in February.

"But the market does present growth, with combined arrivals for January and February confirming arrivals from China were up 6,100, a growth of 18.7 per cent against the same months of 2011."

Australian arrivals are up 2,000 for the month, with 3.5 per cent growth in holiday arrivals.

"While overall holiday arrivals were down 5.8 per cent against February 2011, the growth in holiday arrivals from our traditional markets is positive with Germany up 4.1 per cent, Canada up 3.0 per cent and France up 4.0 per cent for the month."

Holiday arrivals from Asia also continue to grow with Singapore up 28.0 per cent, Korea up 21.4 per cent and Malaysia up 122.7 per cent against the same month last year.

"The growth in arrivals from Malaysia reinforces the untapped demand from this region.

"It is clear that South Asia represents strong growth opportunities. We will continue to promote New Zealand alongside the travel trade and airlines servicing these really important markets to ensure convenient connections to New Zealand are maintained for potential visitors," he said.