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Slow Start to Summer for Visitor Arrivals

Slow Start to Summer for Visitor Arrivals

International visitor arrivals figures out today have confirmed that it has been a slow start to the peak season for the New Zealand tourism industry.

Statistics New Zealand figures for the month of November show visitor arrivals were up just 0.3 per cent compared with the same month last year, to 219,939 arrivals.

Tourism New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Tim Hunter says the figures indicate that New Zealand’s long-haul markets are still feeling the pinch of the global recession.

“It’s been a tough year for tourism globally, so the fact that we’ve ended 2009 down just 0.6 per cent shows how hard the New Zealand tourism industry has worked to drive visitor numbers in a difficult environment,” says Tim Hunter.

Australia continues to be New Zealand’s ‘banker market’, with 7,300 more visitors crossing the Tasman to New Zealand last month compared with November 2008 (up 9.5 per cent).

“The economic situation remains fragile in key markets including the US and UK, and we can expect to see this reflected in visitor numbers in the short term. The general feeling is that arrivals will be subdued for the first part of the peak season, but we expect to see an improving trend in some long-haul markets in the first quarter of 2010.”

Tourism New Zealand’s priorities for 2010 will be on recovery of long-haul markets where arrivals are still showing declines.

“We will be going back into the UK with campaign activity in January. A large-scale project with Air New Zealand will launch early in the New Year and is expected to help drive recovery in arrivals from the US.

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“We are also continuing to keep pressure on those markets and sectors that have remained strong throughout the recession, including the backpacker market and smaller European markets.”

Chinese advertising activity will extend into Beijing for the first time in 2010, which will help build awareness of New Zealand in China.

International Visitor Arrivals November 2009:

• Australia 84,502 up 9.5%
• UK 24,518 down 0.9%
• USA 18,768 down 11.3%
• China 11,063 down 3.5 %
• Japan 8,027 down 1.9%
• Germany 8,096 up 2.5%
• South Korea 4,370 down 12.5%
• Canada 4,922 down 14.9%


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