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Strong growth from China

Strong growth from China amid moderating visitor arrival growth

15 March 2019

An early Chinese New Year has resulted in strong January holiday visitor arrivals from China, while other key markets follow global trends with an expected slowdown in growth.

Official International Visitor Arrivals figures released today shows New Zealand tourism remains healthy with holiday visitor arrivals up 2.2 percent in January 2019. This growth is driven by holiday visitors from China, our most valuable visitor group which contributed around $1.7 billion of spend in New Zealand last year.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall says the moderation in visitor arrival growth is not unexpected given the cyclical nature of global travel trends, which sees significant arrivals growth followed by growth moderation around every seven years.

“New Zealand isn’t immune to global trends which is why Tourism New Zealand’s portfolio strategy is designed to provide balance across markets when macro factors impact a certain market or markets,” says Mr England-Hall.

“As we head into a period of moderate arrival growth it is incredibly important for New Zealand to continue to remain a desirable destination and top of mind as an option for international travelers.

“Competition for visitors is increasing through ever-expanding air connectivity and campaign activity by countries with much larger marketing budgets than New Zealand.”

“Tourism New Zealand’s focus is on building New Zealand’s international destination brand to maximise the long-term benefits – like employment, community investment and business opportunities – for the betterment of New Zealand and New Zealanders.”

Tourism New Zealand is the crown entity responsible for attracting high-value visitors to New Zealand and providing advice to the government and the tourism industry. For more information, visit

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