Holiday arrivals drive continued growth

The latest arrival figures for the month of October show that an increase in the number of holiday makers continues to drive the overall growth in arrivals to New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand's GM Corporate Affairs Chris Roberts says the strong holiday growth is good news for the tourism industry - with holiday arrivals up 6.4 per cent for October, and 7.9 per cent for the year.

"This growth is an additional 91,808 holiday visitors to New Zealand over the past year."

Total arrivals were up 5.8 per cent for the month and 4.6 per cent for the year ending October 2013.

Total Chinese arrivals were up 22.5 per cent year-on-year. However, as forecast by Tourism New Zealand arrivals from China were down in October, by 11.6 per cent.

This follows the implementation of the new China travel law which came into effect on 1 October, effectively requiring travel sellers in China to offer better quality, and thus more expensive, group tour packages both domestically and internationally.

"As expected we saw a dramatic change in the Chinese visitor mix during the month," Chris says.

"A big drop in short stay group visa applications, down 45 per cent for the month of October, and a 43 per cent increase in longer stay and individual visitor visa approvals, indicates a shift to a better quality visitor and visitor experience - supporting our strategy to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand."

Holiday arrivals across Asia reported growth during the month, with Singapore up 31.6 per cent and Korea up 2.7 per cent.

Tourism New Zealand's priority markets also reported strong holiday arrival increases; New Zealand's biggest market Australia was up 9.0 per cent, United States up 13.3 per cent and Germany up 9.7 per cent for the month.

"The continued growth from the US is great news as we start to ramp up our activity ahead of the worldwide release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, with the world premiere in Los Angeles on 2 December, 2013.

"With New Zealand once again the focus of international attention we have a full programme of activity in place to leverage the exposure.

"Our innovative, walk-through multi- media display, The Book of New Zealand, will bring the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign to life for all to see.

"Opening on the evening of 30 November at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, for five days the sprawling installation will tell the story of New Zealand as a fun, must-see tourism destination - and is sure to motivate all those who experience it to share the wider New Zealand story."

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