Highest month for international arrivals since June 2005

International visitor arrivals figures released today confirm an increase of 5.4 per cent year-on-year with a total of 2.64 million visitors arriving for the year-ending June 2012.

"While June 2011 results were down due to natural disasters, namely the ash cloud from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano, it is very positive to see arrivals growing," says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Kevin Bowler.

Statistics New Zealand's International Travel and Migration figures reported a record number of arrivals for the month, with 151,000 visitors making it the second-highest number of arrivals for a June month since the 2005 British Lions' rugby tour.

Mr Bowler commented the figures also indicated a strong and early start to the 2012 ski season.

"Looking specifically at Australian arrivals, we see that they accounted for a staggering 48 per cent of total holiday arrivals in June.

"This clearly shows the importance of this market to New Zealand during what would otherwise be a low-season for the industry and confirms that Australians continue to show a preference for choosing a New Zealand holiday."

International arrivals generated a total of 50.9 million stay-days in New Zealand, an increase of 1.4 per cent for the year-ending June 2012.

"This month's arrival and stay-day figures clearly show that New Zealand is performing well despite the combination of natural and economic challenges we've been battling over the past few years.

"In order to maintain these figures, it is important we see continued investment in long haul air capacity from existing and new airlines.

"That is why this week's announcement from Hawaiian airlines is so exciting. The direct Auckland and Honolulu service is a significant step towards improving connectivity between the United States, one of our key markets, and New Zealand."

Issued by Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
leahp@tnz.govt.nz; phone +64 21 843 896