Lions tour sees international visitor arrivals soar

International visitor arrivals from the UK and Ireland peaked at 23,400 in June thanks to the British and Irish Lions tour.

It was the highest number of combined monthly visitors to New Zealand from both countries since the last tour in June 2005.

Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says, “The Lions tour was a demonstration of exactly what we are trying to achieve - visitors travelling to different parts of the country in our off-peak months.

“It’s also a great example of why we support major events like this which bring benefits to the New Zealand economy overall and to local communities that benefit from the influx of tourists.

“A big part of the Lions tour success was down to amazing Kiwi hospitality. The incredible welcome extended to the fans that travelled the country for six weeks was manaakitanga at its very best.”

The latest data released by Statistics New Zealand today also shows strong holiday arrivals growth on the previous year from Australia (9.7%), Indonesia (48.1%), Malaysia (53.6%) and Singapore (9.0%).

“Australia is our largest source market and it’s pleasing to see its continuing growth. It’s also great to see visitor arrivals from our emerging South East Asia markets increasing at such a rapid rate,” says Stephen.

Visitor arrivals from China have softened with 296,336 Chinese holiday arrivals in the year ending June 2017, a -3.6% decrease.

However Stephen says the decrease has been balanced by increases in holiday arrivals from other markets, such as the US which saw a 31.2% increase for the same period.

“While the number of holiday arrivals from China have dropped, we are still seeing impressive growth in overall holiday arrivals with a 12.3% increase.”