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Another record year for New Zealand tourism

Another record year for New Zealand tourism

New Zealand was the destination of choice for over two million overseas guests in 2003—the second year in a row that the industry has reached this milestone.

According to Statistic New Zealand’s latest External Migration survey, 297,280 international visitors arrived in New Zealand in December 2003—a 12 percent increase on December 2002, and the highest monthly figure ever recorded. In total, there were 2,106,229 arrivals for the year—a three percent increase on the record figures of 2002.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said that ending such a difficult year in positive growth mode is a clear illustration of the sector’s strength.

“It’s no accident that tourism has experienced two record years in a row. The strong partnerships we have fostered between government and the industry underpin the outstanding results we have seen over the past four years. These relationships have seen the sector come through such potentially damaging events such as September 11, the Bali bombing, and, most recently, the impacts of the SARS virus.

“Tourism New Zealand has worked tirelessly to promote New Zealand as one of the most unique and sophisticated destinations in the world, building our international reputation as a world-class, year-round travel choice. This work is clearly showing results, and not just in New Zealand. Last month, TNZ’s was honoured in New York City with an international public relations award for the 100% Pure marketing campaign. They were also awarded gold for the documentary The Royal Tour, made in association with the Discovery Channel and hosted by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

“Clearly, New Zealand is making its mark on the highly competitive world of international tourism.

“The month of December showed increases in all of our key markets, including a 21 percent increase from Australia, 17 percent from the United Kingdom, and 10 percent from the United States. Arrivals from Asia were equal to the December 2002 figures, with outstanding increased of 24 percent from China and 23 percent from Singapore. This is a real achievement in comparison to the negative figures we experienced mid-year.

“As Minister of Tourism, I am confident by continuing to work together, government and the sector will see even greater successes in the future.

The full survey (External Migration) can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz.

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