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New Zealand Visitor Arrivals for February 2009

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Figures released by Tourism New Zealand show a continuing decline in visitor arrivals which reinforces a decision to invest more in the Australian tourism market.

Statistics show total visitor arrivals for February were down 8.5% compared with the same month last year, with all New Zealand’s key markets on the decline, except their neighbour Australia.

With some long-haul markets beginning to decline, Tourism New Zealand decided to move money into marketing Australia over the summer to bolster visitor numbers.

Australia is New Zealand’s biggest tourism market generating nearly 40% of New Zealand’s arrivals.

Markets like the US, Japan and Korea, traditionally dependent on group bookings, all had major decreases in February.

"Anecdotally it seems that group bookings are the heaviest hit, with some operators reporting up to a 50% decrease," said Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton. "However, in many cases this has been offset by increases in independent travellers and domestic travellers. The backpacker market is also holding up well."

Numbers from China were also down in February, but this figure is difficult to measure as Chinese New Year fell in January this year and in February last year.

Other trends are seeing booking times continuing to get shorter and more people booking direct. "This is particularly common out of Australia," added George Hickton, "but some operators are reporting that sometimes even our long-haul markets like the UK and Europe are booking activities very close to the time that they arrive."

Tourism New Zealand has been running campaigns in four major markets (the US, UK, Australia and China) in an attempt to attract a larger market share of those that are still travelling.

New Zealand International Visitor Arrivals for February 2009

• Australia - 87,538, up 2.5%
• UK - 42,481, down 15.1%
• USA - 25,553, down 17.9%
• Canada - 7,498, down 17.5%
• China - 12,075, down 21.8 %
• Korea - 5,060, down 28.6%
• Japan - 9,890, down 14.3%

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, First Class, Business Class, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Visitor Arrivals, Cruises, Free Deals, New Zealand Visitor Arrivals, January 2009, New Zealand, February 2009

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