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Tourism to NZ roars ahead with Australia at forefront

February 3, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Maybe it’s the hobbit factor, or the legalisation of same-sex marriage, or a combination of things – but New Zealand has recorded a truly exceptional year for tourist arrivals and the Australian market has performed especially well.

An increase in holiday arrivals, up a staggering 9.8% for the year ending December 2013 has driven annual visitor growth to New Zealand up 6% for the year – with international arrivals to New Zealand topping 2.7 million for the first time ever.

“The extra 114,112 holiday arrivals during the year equates to an estimated NZD 365 million additional expenditure – providing significant value to both the industry and the wider New Zealand economy,” says Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.Hobbit movie set  in New Zealand

With 381,900 arrivals during the month, December was the highest monthly total ever, up 4.9% on December 2012.

“Throughout the year our traditional long staying markets, and biggest visitor market Australia, have performed particularly strongly, driving this growth in holiday arrivals.”

Holiday arrivals from the US are up 21.3%, Canada up 7.7%, Germany up 9.4%, and Australia up 8.1%, for the 2013 calendar year.

“Seeing this continued growth is extremely positive, with Germany showing a great resurgence. Furthermore, the stabilisation of the UK market continues ahead of our projections, with holiday arrivals up 9.9% for the month and 5.7% for 2013.”

New Zealand may find this year more challenging, with the Kiwi dollar having appreciated sharply against a basket of currencies, including the Aussie unit.

New Zealand recorded an impressive surge in arrivals from China, which grew 16.2% for the year. Monthly arrivals, however, continue to show the impact of the China Travel Law introduced 1 October 2013. Arrivals from China fell 10.6% in that month. Australia noticed a similar dip. Both countries noted a bright side.

“What is becoming clear is how the new China Travel Law is supporting our strategy to accelerate the trend towards higher quality itineraries with better experiences, to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand,” Bowler said.

“We are already seeing an increase in visitors travelling more widely – with expenditure in the South Island increasing 72% from October to December compared to the same period in 2012.

“This is very positive as we head into the Chinese New Year celebration starting tomorrow which is historically China’s busiest travel period.”

Annual arrivals across the wider Asia and South East Asia region were strong, with India up 3.8%, Singapore up 16.1% and Thailand up 22.2%.

Arrivals from Indonesia, a new priority emerging market where Tourism New Zealand has increased its activity since 1 July 2013, were up 11.9% for the year.

Written by Peter Needham

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