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Holidaying Kiwis Affect Visitor Arrivals

20 NOVEMBER 2007

Holidaying Kiwis Affect International Visitor Arrivals

A shortage of seats on flights into New Zealand appears to have stifled international visitor arrivals during October.

Overall, almost 180,000 (179,947) overseas visitors came to New Zealand in October 2007, a decrease of 6,692 (3.6%) from October 2006.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says a big influx of New Zealanders returning from overseas holidays has taken many of the seats that would otherwise be used by visitors from our overseas markets.

“The Rugby World Cup lured thousands of Kiwis to France and the UK during this period. The returning New Zealanders not only filled seats from the UK but also from other markets where the flights hub such as Hong Kong and the US.”

France welcomed 6,700 more New Zealanders than the same time last year, while the UK also had an increase of 2,400 Kiwi visitors over the Rugby World Cup.

Hong Kong arrivals were down 33.5% in October 2007 compared with the same month last year. While the US and Canadian arrivals were down 2.6% and 5.9% respectively in October compared with the same month last year.

Australian and British rugby fans choosing to travel to Europe may also have dampened demand for New Zealand in October.

Australian arrivals decreased 0.5% per cent in October 2007 compared with the same month last year, a total decrease of 500 people. There were also 7,000 more trips by New Zealanders to Australia than the same period last year.

Mr Hickton says a lack of seats continues to affect the number of Koreans visiting New Zealand, down 30.5% compared with October 2006.

“A reduction in airline seats and an increase in prices have led to a drop off in group packages to New Zealand.”

Visitor Arrivals October 2007 Australia 71,691 down 0.5% UK 18,400 down 8.3% USA 16,307 down 2.6% Canada 3,312 down 5.9% China 9,568 up 14.8% Korea 7,084 down 30.5% Japan 7,912 down 11.9%

ENDS

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