Growth in international visitor stay days lags behind arrivals

Year-on-year growth in international visitor arrivals have generated 50.8 million stay days in New Zealand, an increase of 0.9 per cent for the year ending April 2012.

Total arrivals continue to increase 3.9 per cent to 2.615 million arrivals despite a decrease of one per cent for April 2012 compared to April 2011.

"Looking at total stay days allows us to see the real value of international arrivals as the longer people stay the more they spend," said Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Kevin Bowler.

"While overall arrivals are up, the smaller increase in stay days indicates that New Zealand has been attracting a shorter staying visitor which has caused total stay day growth to be slightly behind arrivals growth."

Mr Bowler said it was clear that there is more work to be done to increase visitor days through attracting longer-staying, higher-value visitors to New Zealand.

"Despite the phenomenal growth seen from China over the last year, with Chinese holiday arrivals increasing 34.7 per cent, the Chinese holiday market stays an average of 6.2 days. As one of the lowest lengths of stay this reflects the preference for dual destination group tours which follow a shorter travel period.

"To increase the benefit of the large number of Chinese visitors now coming to New Zealand, the second largest market behind Australia for April, it is essential we take actions to increase visitor days as well as visitor arrivals."

Asia continues to show strong growth, with total arrivals from Malaysia up 61.1 per cent, Singapore up 26.4 per cent and Indonesia up 18.6 per cent for the year ending April.

Issued by Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand; phone +64 21 843 896