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Economic Woes Dampen Visitor Arrivals

June 20, 2008

Economic Woes Dampen Visitor Arrivals

Economic woes are impacting international visitor arrivals, with slightly fewer tourists than normal arriving in New Zealand during May.

Visitor arrivals were down 0.2 per cent to about 140,000 visitors, less than 300 fewer than the same month last year. Global economic pressures are having an impact on key long-haul markets including the US (down 8.2%) and UK (down 2.4%).

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says the tourism industry is anticipating more challenging conditions in a slightly tougher environment.

“The general feeling is that growth will be flat at best. The global credit crunch and rising food and fuel prices are biting into consumer’s disposable incomes and impacting their ability to travel.

“May is always a tough month, with the ski season yet to kick off and shoulder season visitors starting to drop away, but it is positive to see growth continuing out of China and Canada.”

Visitor arrivals from Canada were up 16.3 per cent, continuing the growth out of this market since the introduction of Air New Zealand’s direct flights last year. Around 52,000 Canadians visited New Zealand in the year to May, up 11 per cent on the previous year.

Tourism New Zealand is working on campaign activity in major markets to be launched in the next few months, with the aim of driving visitors to New Zealand in the spring and summer months.

Highlights of International Visitor arrivals May 2008

• Australia 58,240 up 0.5%
• UK 11,000 down -2.4%
• USA 10,640 down -8.2%
• Canada 2,240 up 16.3%
• China 8,360 up 8.8%
• Korea 6,200 down -0.4%
• Japan 6,060 down -4.6%


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