Record numbers of tourists and travellers visit New Zealand

In total, 2013 saw New Zealand attract an extra 114,112 holiday makers compared to 2012, with Tourism New Zealand estimating that visitors from abroad spent NZ$365 million (approx. £180.1 million).

December was the month that saw the highest number of arrivals, with 381,000 clearing New Zealand immigration in that time.

Speaking on the growth for the year, Tourism New Zealand's chief executive, Kevin Bowler, had the following comments:

"Throughout the year our traditional long staying markets, and biggest visitor market Australia, have performed particularly strongly, driving this growth in holiday arrivals."
Arrivals from Australia were up 8.1% in 2013. Arrivals from other key countries were also up, with visitors from the US up 21.3%, Canada up 7.7% and Germany up 9.4% for the 2013 calendar year.
"Seeing this continued growth is extremely positive, with Germany showing a great resurgence. Furthermore, the stabilisation of the UK market continues ahead of our projections, with holiday arrivals up 9.9 per cent for the month and 5.7 per cent for 2013."
Total arrivals from China were up 16.2% for the year, though monthly arrivals showed the impact of the China Travel Law that was introduced on 1 October 2103, down 10.6 per cent.
"What is becoming clear is how the new China Travel Law is supporting our strategy to accelerate the trend towards higher quality itineraries with better experiences, to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand. We are already seeing an increase in visitors travelling more widely - with expenditure in the South Island increasing 72 per cent- from October to December compared to the same period in 2012.

"This is very positive as we head into the Chinese New Year celebration starting tomorrow which is historically China’s busiest travel period."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.