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Visitor Arrivals Slow After Early Easter

May 20, 2008

Visitor Arrivals Slow After Early Easter

The early Easter and global economic concerns have put a damper on visitor arrivals during April, with lower numbers of visitors from many of our key markets.

Visitors tend to book travel around the Easter break, so when this holiday falls in a different month to the previous year it distorts figures for the March/April period.

Total visitor arrivals were down 7 per cent, following record figures for March that were boosted by the early Easter break. Combined figures for April and March show a decline of only 2,200 (1 per cent) compared to the same two month period last year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says a tougher global economic climate is beginning to impact on travel from major long-haul markets including the UK (down 10.0 per cent) and US (down 19.9 per cent).

“The increase in food and fuel prices combined with rising interest rates and a general economic slow-down are impacting consumer certainty and willingness to spend on travel.

“Operators have reported lower visitor numbers and a quieter April than normal. Many say that Easter falling in March this year has definitely had an impact and stopped some families planning a longer break to coincide with April school holidays.”

Despite this, total arrivals for the year to April 2008 were up 36,400 (1 percent). Australia leads this growth, with holiday arrivals for this market up 8.6 per cent to 383,705 for the year to April.

“Visitor numbers from China also continue to grow,” says George Hickton. “We expect to see a further boost in Chinese visitors as a result of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, which has been very visible in Shanghai since it was launched on 21 April.”

Highlights of International Visitor arrivals April 2008


73,704 down -5.6% UK
17,760 down -10.5% USA
14,184 down -19.9% Canada
3,024down -4% China
11,352 up 3.9% Korea 6,984
down -18.8% Japan
7,200 down -11.6


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