Strong visitor arrivals heading into summer

Tourism New Zealand is welcoming the ongoing growth in holiday visitor arrivals - up 6.4 for the year ending October - pushing total holiday arrivals to 1.3 million visitors.

The data, released today by Statistics New Zealand, reveals that total arrivals for the year ending October are up 5.1 per cent ahead of the high season.

Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Corporate Affairs Deborah Gray says the release of the International Visitor Survey last week and the International Visitor Arrivals today strengthen the positive picture being painted for the industry as it heads into the summer months. 

Increased spend by holiday arrivals, up 22 per cent for the year ending September, has driven total spend by international arrivals - up 10 per cent to reach $7.2 billion for the year.

Deborah says it is positive to see expenditure outstripping the increase in arrivals throughout 2014.

Visitor growth from western markets has remained strong for the year-ending October 2014 with holiday arrivals from the US (up 15.1 percent), Canada (up 3.4 per cent), Germany (up 20.5 per cent) and UK (up 2.9 per cent) all in growth.

Visitor spend in these markets is also showing positive signs of growth with the US up 33 per cent and the UK up 23 per cent for the year ending September.

Tourism New Zealand has continued to target these markets through its association with Middle-earth; earlier this month the biggest piece of Hobbit leveraging activity, The Hobbit Fan Fellowship contest, brought Middle-earth to life in these markets while the premiere of the third and final film in the trilogy occurs on 1 December in London.

"The fan fellowship contest saw 74 devoted Hobbit fans, each with a friend, and around 40 international media visit New Zealand to experience a journey through Middle-earth, generating strong coverage in our key markets."

Year-on-year growth has been further bolstered by holiday arrivals out of the Asian markets with Singapore (up 16.3 per cent), Malaysia (up 11.9 per cent) and Thailand (10.8 per cent), all in growth.

"We're continuing to see positive signs out of China, with holiday arrivals up 4.8 per cent for the year ending October, while holiday stay days have increased by 30.8 per cent for the same period," says Deborah.

This is further supported by visitor spend out of China which is up 33 per cent for the year ending September - now at a record $979 million.  

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

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