Record summer of growth continues for international tourism

The tourism industry’s growth streak has continued with the release of the latest international visitor arrivals showing total arrivals up 10.7 per cent to over 3.17 million for the year ending January 2016. 

The figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show the growth was driven by strong holiday arrivals up 16.2 per cent for the year ending January - equating to over 220,000 additional holiday visitors when compared to last year.

Total arrivals have been significantly boosted by growth out of China with total arrivals up 42.5 per cent for the year.  

The US has also shown significant growth with total arrivals up 11.7 per cent to just under 250,000 for the year ended January. Holiday arrivals are also continuing to show strong growth - up 13.6 per cent for the same period.

Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says: “The US is a stand out market for New Zealand at the moment and with increased airline capacity from Air New Zealand’s new Houston route helping to drive growth, we expect to see this trend continue.”

Arrival figures for the markets of the UK and Germany have also shown solid growth, with holiday arrivals for Germany up 12.5 per cent and the UK up 11.4 per cent year on year.  Tourism New Zealand’s prioritised emerging markets of Indonesia, India and Brazil continued to grow, with total arrivals up 6.3 per cent, 22.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively for the year ending January. 

“The industry’s current success comes as a result of a number of factors,” says Kevin.

“Certainly New Zealand’s lower dollar is playing its part and globally, international economies are a long way from the situation we faced during the global financial crisis.

“We’re now in a period of consistent growth that stretches back to the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and the work Tourism New Zealand led to leverage the attention gained through the Hobbit films.

“Today, we are delivering highly targeting marketing programmes into each prioritised market. These programmes are focussed on exactly what potential travellers need to know at every stage of their path to purchase; from initial dreaming, to planning, through to deciding to buy.

“With peak demand as strong as it is, our new focus is on building demand in New Zealand’s off-peak periods and encouraging visitors to stay longer and travel to more regions. Tourism New Zealand’s campaigns are already in market now with a view to increasing autumn travel,” says Kevin.

The month of February will undoubtedly feature strongly for China as all indications are we have enjoyed a very strong month for arrivals for Chinese New year.


Georgina Maguire, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
021 478 659,