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Summer Volumes Hold for Tourism Industry

Tuesday 21st March 2006
MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Summer Volumes Hold for Tourism Industry

Visitors to New Zealand left it until later in the summer to take their holidays this year.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show for the month of February there was a 0.9% increase in the number of visitors to New Zealand compared with the same time last year. A total of 252,400 visitors arrived in February this year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says the results reflect what the international markets have been saying.

“Most of our key tourism partners have been telling us that bookings to New Zealand were slow at the start of the summer but were looking much stronger for February and March.”

All of New Zealand’s main markets were up except for Japan and Asian markets which were affected by the traditional holiday period of Chinese New Year falling in January instead of February.

Mr Hickton said the New Zealand tourism operators have been reporting an improvement in business over late summer although many were affected by the drop in domestic tourism and the increase in competition due to growth in tourism businesses, particularly in the accommodation sector.

Mr Hickton says the phenomenal growth the industry had experienced over the past six years has slowed and Tourism New Zealand was working actively in its key markets –to keep New Zealand in the mind of potential travellers.

“We’re currently in the midst of a new $3 million campaign in Japan with large billboards and ad trucks making a huge impact amongst the 12 million residents of Tokyo. This is backed up by the screening of a reality television documentary set in New Zealand and the launch of a brand new Japanese website.”

“New Zealand is also high profile in a $600,000 autumn campaign in Australia and will be followed up with a further campaign in spring. “

Mr Hickton said new campaigns would be launched in the United States and United Kingdom over the next few months.

International visitor arrivals to New Zealand for February 2006
Australia 73,832 up 1.9 %
UK 47,124 up 6.4%
USA 29,898 up 15.4%
Japan 15,114 down 2.1%
Korea 9,746 down 12.6%
China 8,470 down 16.1%

Images of the advertising in Tokyo are available on www.tourismnewzealand.com


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