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Chinese New Year affects January international arrivals

For immediate release
27 February, 2013

Chinese New Year affects January international arrivals

Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive, says that while total arrivals were down for January, the month has some real success stories – with total arrivals from the US up 16.6 per cent, Japan up 8.8 per cent and Australia up 2.2 per cent for the month.

Total international arrivals were down 2.3 per cent for the month due to the later celebration of Chinese New Year, which fell in February this year.

“With China now our second largest source of international arrivals, and the Chinese New Year being a peak travel period for the market, having this fall a month later has understandably affected arrival figures from China – and the overall result. We expect to see a strong rebound in February,” says Kevin.

China arrivals were down 19.6 per cent for the month but maintained annual growth, up 24.7 per cent year-on-year.

“The stand out market has to be the US, with holiday arrivals up 21.7 per cent and cruise passengers up 85.0 per cent compared to January 2012, making it the highest January since 2008.

“We’ve been monitoring preference for visiting New Zealand in the US market and it’s recently grown quite strongly, which can only really be attributed to the release of the first Hobbit movie and our focused marketing efforts to increase preference to travel here to experience New Zealand for themselves with our ‘100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign.

“While we anticipate this will also resonate with economically stronger parts of Europe, this is likely to take more time given the current economic situation in Europe, and the relatively weak Euro and Sterling.”

Looking at the increases from Japan and Australia, Kevin says that holiday arrivals have played a strong role in the growth for the month – Japan holiday arrivals were up 22.4 per cent and Australia up 4.4 per cent.

“It is encouraging to see on-going recovery of Japan – especially with the increase of holiday arrivals.

“Similarly, with Australia it is positive to see the strong growth in holiday visitors from our largest market over the summer high season.”


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