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Latest arrival figures show impact of RWC arrivals

For immediate release
22 November, 2012

Latest arrival figures show impact of RWC arrivals and continued market mix changes

International visitor arrivals for October 2012 reflected the impact of the Rugby World Cup 2011, with total arrivals down 14.7 per cent in the month of October.

The latest figures, released today by Statistics New Zealand, are the first to reveal the full impact of RWC2011 on the previous year’s figures.

The figures also show arrivals flat across the full year, down slightly at -0.6 per cent for the year ending October.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the result for October arrivals was no surprise; “Given we had 133,000 visitors to New Zealand for the RWC 2011, the fall month-on-month is expected.

“Although overall year-on-year results are flat, that does not tell the whole story.

“With total arrivals up 1.9 per cent over two years ago (YE Oct 2010), we can see that there has been a significant change in the market mix and there is still underlying growth in the sector.

“While long-haul markets with struggling economies are understandably down, we continue to see growth from Australia, up 1.4 per cent, and significant growth from China up 39.2 per cent for the past year.

“With China becoming the third largest source for arrivals last month, the potential from this market is clear. In order to realise the benefits this market presents we need to continue our work to connect Chinese travellers with availability of quality New Zealand holiday experiences which will support our goal of increasing Chinese visitor stay days.”

Other Asian markets showed growth during October, with Japan arrivals up 20.2 per cent and Korea up 12.4 per cent for the month.

One long-haul market that is bucking the trend is Germany with arrivals up 8.6 per cent for the month reflecting the displacement effect on the 2011 results.

“This is a positive sign for the market as we head into the summer high-season which traditionally attracts long staying German arrivals,” said Kevin.

"We also anticipate that the growing awareness of New Zealand as the result of the release of the first Hobbit movie will increase preference for travel to New Zealand across all markets – including other long-haul markets such as the United States and Europe."


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