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Second Month of Growth Boosts Outlook for Summer

Second Month of Growth Boosts Outlook for Summer

The Australian market is buoying visitor numbers to New Zealand as the industry starts to see some signs of recovery.

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show visitor arrivals growing for a second consecutive month. Arrivals were up 7.7 per cent for the month of October, almost thirteen and a half thousand more visitors than the same month last year. Overall, for the year ended October, there have been one per cent fewer visitors than 2008.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said the additional investment into marketing in Australia has helped keep the decline in visitor numbers overall to a minimum in what has been a tough year for the industry.

“Australia continues to be the foundation of growth in visitor numbers, with the increase of 22.2 per cent (15,916 visitors) in October continuing a year of record growth for this market. Buoyed by consistent marketing, good value airfares, a strong Australian dollar and high consumer confidence, arrivals from Australia are up 9.7 per cent (1,061,363 visitors) for the year to end of October. "

However, Mr Hickton says the industry is seeing a gradual turnaround in consumer confidence in many of New Zealand’s key tourism markets.

“The upcoming summer season is looking more positive as the global economic situation slowly improves. While we expect summer to start slower, the general feeling is that things will pick up post-Christmas.

“The current picture is that many markets will end up on par with last year, but we are expecting to see improving growth trends as the summer progresses, particularly out of China, the US and parts of Europe,” Mr Hickton said.

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China has begun to return to strength after more than a year of declining arrivals, with arrivals up 16.5 per cent (to a total of 7,636 visitors) compared with October last year. This increase coincided with a major national holiday in China, National Day Golden Week, which fell between 1 – 8 October this year.

George Hickton says the $20 million additional Government funding announced in November will enable Tourism New Zealand to further push arrivals over the summer season and into 2010.

“Our focus will be on where we are best able to stimulate growth. Australia remains important, but we will also be looking to recover the long-haul markets over summer, with spend being directed to the US, UK/Europe and China.”

International Visitor Arrivals October 2009:

• Australia / 87,676/ up 22.2%
• UK / 16,629 / down 7.5%
• USA / 13,984 / down 2.1%
• China / 7,636 / up 16.5 %
• Japan / 6,072 / down 9.6%
• Germany / 5,313 / up 3.9%
• South Korea / 3,933 / down 33.1%
• Canada / 3,243 / down 6.8%

For up to date visitor arrivals data and commentary on all markets visit: http://www.tourismnewzealand.com/tourism_info/market-research/market-guides/market-guides-home.cfm

ENDS

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