Shoulder season growth outweighs peak

The latest international visitor arrival figures show Tourism New Zealand’s decision to invest all of its activity into promoting autumn and spring travel continues to deliver for industry.

Brighid Kelly, Tourism New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive says “it’s fantastic to see that efforts to smooth out demand periods are having an impact because that’s what industry needs for long-term value.”

The figures released today show holiday arrivals in summer (December-February 2016/17) were up 8.3 per cent on the previous year while holiday arrivals in the 2016 spring season (September-November) were up almost twice that at 16.1 per cent.

“Growing shoulder season arrivals continues to be a key focus for us to help spread value across the year, not just in the peak of summer,” says Brighid.

“Total arrivals are up 10.7 per cent for the year and holiday arrivals are up 14.1 per cent. So while we are smoothing out the peak we are also continuing to grow overall volume.”

Holiday arrivals from the United States are showing exceptional growth with around 45,500 more visitors arriving in New Zealand in the year ending February 2017 compared to the previous year, an increase of 29.6 per cent.

“In 2016 we undertook an extensive amount of travel agent training in the US to ensure frontline staff are able to sell New Zealand as a holiday destination and make the most of the new airlines and capacity that has come on stream,” says Brighid.

The figures also show great growth from Australia, New Zealand’s largest source market. Almost 40,000 more Australians visited New Zealand for a holiday in the year ending February 2017, a 7.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

Holiday arrivals from Germany and Japan have also shown a steady increase with over 9000 more visitors from each market this year compared to last year.

“Our emerging markets are also performing nicely, with India and Indonesia both showing good growth,” says Brighid.

India showed an increase of 15.9 per cent and Indonesia showed an increase of 23.1 per cent on the previous year.

With February arrivals confirmed, this year’s Chinese New Year arrivals is now apparent. With January and February arrivals combined, Chinese New Year 2017 was down on last year.

“We are watching the China market with interest and already see signs of a stronger March month than last year,” says Brighid.