International visitor arrivals top 2.8 million visitors

Tourism New Zealand is welcoming a 4.9 per cent increase in international visitor arrivals for the year ending September 2014, pushing total annual arrivals to more than 2.8 million for the first time ever.

The data, released today by Statistics New Zealand, reveals growth is led from holiday arrivals which were up 5.8 per cent for the year. 

Visitor growth from western markets has remained strong for the year-ending September 2014 with holiday arrivals from the US (up 14.3 percent), Canada (up 2.1 per cent), Germany (up 20.4 per cent) and UK (up 1.8 per cent) and all in growth.

Year-on-year growth has been further bolstered by holiday arrivals out of the Asian markets with Singapore (up 17.4 per cent), Malaysia (up 15.0 per cent) and Thailand (24.8 per cent), all in growth.

Tourism New Zealand's priority emerging markets are performing well with India up an impressive 17.4 per cent, Indonesia up 5.4 per cent and Brazil up 16.8 per cent year-on-year.

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says our number one source market, Australia, has maintained year-on-year growth with holiday arrivals up 4.0 per cent for the year ending September. 

Chinese arrivals are up 2.7 per cent for the year ending September while total stay days have increased by 31.0 per cent for the same period.

The results are 12 months on from the introduction of the China Travel Law, which made the sale of below cost tours illegal in China.

"Overall, as a result of the China Travel Law we are seeing a positive shift towards higher quality travellers," says Kevin.

During the January to August 2014 period there has been a 3.5 per cent decrease in Chinese shopping tour arrivals and a 61.3 per cent increase in Chinese independent holiday visitors.

"These are great indicators of a shift towards higher quality, and higher value Chinese travellers which is an encouraging trend for the market," says Kevin.  

Today Tourism New Zealand announced the success of its largest broadcast media out of China, with more than 400 million viewers tuning in for season two of Chinese reality show Dad, where are we going? featuring 217 minutes of celebrities travelling around New Zealand and participating in visitor activities.

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand pitched for the rights to host the production in September, with New Zealand becoming the first destination outside of Asia to ever feature in the show.

"In a market like China the profile this show has given New Zealand as a family friendly, fun and desirable visitor destination, is unprecedented and fully supports our strategy to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand," says Kevin.

Contact Georgina Maguire, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand | phone +64 21 478 659