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New Zealand Revises Tourism Forecasts

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The New Zealand Ministry of Tourism is forecasting that international visitor arrivals to the country will grow by an average of 2.5% per annum over the next seven years.

By 2015 international visitor numbers are forecast to reach 2.9 million, up by 18.6% or 455,000 more visitors that at present.

Ministry of Tourism Research Manager, Bruce Bassett, said that given the substantial impacts of the global recession and more recently concerns over Swine Flu (Influenza A  H1N1), the forecasts for tourism have been revised back from an annual average growth rate of 4% which was originally forecast.

"So, while the current forecasts are lower, the overall outlook for tourism remains very positive," Mr Bassett said. "Over the balance of 2009, we expect to see a drop of arrivals of around 4.2%, but after that we expect to see growth re-emerging."

"With a slow and uneven recovery from the global recession, we expect to see growth of around 2.5% in 2010. This will be followed by a solid rebound in arrivals of 6.5% in 2011 as the global economy further recovers and with a boost from New Zealandís hosting of the Rugby World Cup."

"For the remainder of the forecast period a sound growth level of 3.5% per year is expected," he added.

The strongest markets over the forecast period are expected to be Australia and China, which are forecast to provide two-thirds of the total growth. Other markets are expected to generate more modest growth.

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