01 September 2008

NZ tourism numbers up despite global downward trend

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Around three thousand more people visited New Zealand during the month of July 2008 than the same month the year prior, reports Stuff.co.nz. Figures from Statistics New Zealand show a record number of international visitors arrived in New Zealand for the month of July this year.

During July, 175,700 international visitors arrived on New Zealand’s shores, with the majority coming from Australia, the United Kingdom, and America.  The numbers of Australians, Americans and Germans increased during this month on the same period last year, while the numbers of Chinese and South Koreans lowered.

In the year to July, over 32,000 more Australians holidayed in New Zealand, which is the biggest increase in the number of international visitors from any country.

The Chinese, Japanese and South Korean downturn has been attributed to more people attending the Olympics Games during August. 

UBS senior economist Robin Clements said the number of people visiting New Zealand has increased because of the weakening New Zealand dollar.  "A lower exchange rate will be beneficial, in a year or so, to tourist numbers but the industry will also have to cope with higher travel costs and slower growth in most source countries," he said.

Many international visitors to New Zealand do not have to apply for a New Zealand tourist visa to holiday in the country.  Australian citizens have visa-free entry to New Zealand, while British citizens can holiday in the country for up to 6 months on a Visitor’s Permit.  Nationals from countries part of the visa waiver agreement with New Zealand can visit the country for no more than three months without needing to apply for a New Zealand tourist visa.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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