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Asian Visitor Numbers Strong in October

Asian Visitor Numbers Strong in October

Total visitor numbers in October were 1.3 per cent lower than last year but arrivals for the full year remain ahead by 3.1 per cent thanks to strong growth from Asia.

The October drop in arrivals was primarily caused by a 7.4 per cent fall in visitors from Australia, which contributed 6,476 fewer visitors in October 2010 than in the same month last year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said figures released today by Statistics New Zealand suggested that a change in the timing of New South Wales’ school holidays, held from 25 September to 10 October this year rather than 3 - 18 October, had significantly influenced the number of arrivals for the month.

Arrival numbers from New South Wales were down 5,100 in October – the biggest decrease in visitor numbers of any Australian state for the month. However, the earlier school holidays contributed to 2,700 more visitor arrivals from New South Wales in September 2010 compared with the previous September.

“Importantly, total arrivals from Australia in the year to October remain positive, up 5.1 per cent compared to the year to October 2009,” Kevin Bowler said.

He said Tourism New Zealand marketing efforts in South Korea and China had contributed to a continued increase in visitors from the two key Asian markets during October.

South Korean visitors numbered 5,425 in October, an increase of 37.9 per cent, or 1,492 visitors, compared to October 2009. Visitor numbers from China were also strong, increasing by 13.3 per cent (1,014 people), to 8,650 arrivals.

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“Tourism New Zealand has launched a number of campaigns in South Korea and China this year to capitalise on the Asia region’s strong economy and Asian travellers’ increased interest in coming to New Zealand,” Kevin Bowler said.

“South Korean and Chinese visitor numbers are bouncing back after a sharp drop following the financial crisis and H1N1 in 2009. The Korean and Chinese economies are steadily improving and confidence is returning which is leading to growth in outbound travel again.”

In Korea, Tourism New Zealand’s marketing efforts included a promotion with Hyecho Travel, to encourage campervan tours of New Zealand, and partnerships with quality-focussed Korean travel agents such as Segyero Tours and Wanna Tour. Korean Air also launched a multi-million dollar campaign promoting New Zealand in October.

Tourism New Zealand’s efforts in China had also been stepped up, Kevin Bowler said. “We’ve invested heavily in advertising with many of China’s best known media outlets and launched innovative campaigns to drive New Zealand to the top of Chinese travellers shopping lists.”

The ‘Experience New Zealand Right Now’ campaign featuring Chinese media personalities Lu Chuan and Hung Huang won a Bronze Award for effective marketing at the recent Chinese Effie Awards.

ENDS

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