Year ends on high for tourism numbers

Its official, 2016 was a bumper year for holiday arrivals to New Zealand with record numbers of tourists, up 16.2 per cent on the previous year.

The results, released today come as the tourism industry is in the midst of the summer peak season.

Brighid Kelly, acting Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive says “A record 1.8 million holiday makers chose New Zealand in 2016 while total arrivals are now at 3.5 million.”

“This is fantastic result for our industry as tourism around the world becomes even more competitive.”

“The average holiday arrival spends around $3,900 during their visit and tourism also employs some 188,000 people meaning this level of growth is bringing benefits to many New Zealanders.”

Over the last few years Tourism New Zealand’s strategy has been grow the value of international tourism by promoting visits in the shoulder season.

“We are driving shoulder season travel as hard as we can to help spread visitation across the year and reduce the concentration that occurs over the peak season,” says Brighid.

“We are seeing some promising results with spring season (Sept – Nov) holiday arrivals growth last year at 16.1% versus today’s figures for December, the first month of the summer peak season sitting at 11.1 %."

“We are also putting new focus on encouraging visitors to travel more to more regional destinations and kicked this off with a major campaign launched in Melbourne this week promoting Northland in autumn.”

“This is the first campaign we will run to identify what techniques work best to tempt visitors into regions they might not have considered before.”

“Changing visitor behaviour is not easy so these trials will give us information to tailor future campaigns.”

“Last year, Tourism New Zealand spent its entire marketing budget promoting shoulder season travel and this is something we will continue to do in 2017.”

Late last year tourism was confirmed as New Zealand’s top export pumping over $14.5 billion into the economy and directly employing over 188,000 people.

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