World economic conditions are biting into the New
Zealand tourism industry with a decrease in the number of long-haul
tourists visiting in January this year.
Statistics from Tourism New Zealand show
that there were 3.7% less visitors in January 2009 than the same
month last year - an overall decrease of just under 10,000
visitors. This follows a record month for December last year.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George
Hickton said the figures are unsurprising.
"The industry has been reporting for some time
that there are fewer numbers of visitors booking from our key long
haul markets such as the United Kingdom (-10.4%) and the US
"But I am delighted to see that our summer
campaign in Australia has helped fill the country during the
industry’s peak season, with almost 2,000 extra Australians this
January and a 4.5% increase in holiday arrivals."
Chinese New Year also helped buoy numbers with
around 4,000 extra visitors from New Zealand’s fourth largest
market choosing to holiday in New Zealand during the key festive
George Hickton said that while less people are
travelling, Tourism New Zealand has been working hard to keep New
Zealand high profile for those people still wishing to holiday, by
running campaigns in four key markets over summer.
"We’ve run a summer campaign in Australia for
the first time in years, we’ve had a second wave of campaigns in
the UK and China and we are launching a new campaign in the US
through Discovery Channel."
The industry is expecting a
slow winter and Tourism New Zealand is now focusing on how to
drive numbers for next peak season.
Tourism New Zealand
predicts the small rise in Australian numbers could hold an
expected overall decline of visitors to between 5 to 10% between
January and March. Long-haul markets are likely to drop between 10
to 15% in that same period.
International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand January 2009
- Australia: 82,684, up 2.2%
- UK: 37,968, down 10.4%
US: 20,916, down 19.5%
- China: 14,252, up 31.8%
7,532, down 25.6%
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