Chinese, Australians help tourist arrivals hit seven-year high

BUSINESSDESK: The number of short-term arrivals rose to a seven-year high for the month of June as a flood of Australians and Chinese tourists came to visit last month.

Some 151,100 people came to New Zealand for a short-term visit in June, the most for that month since 2005 when the British and Irish Lions toured the nation, Statistics New Zealand says.

That was 15 % more than in June last year, when flights were cancelled by the Chilean volcanic ash cloud. Annual short-term arrivals rose 5.4% to 2.6 million from a year earlier.

The increase was led by a 25% gain in the number of Australian visitors to 64,800, of which 29% were Kiwis living across the Tasman, and a 7.4% rise in the number of Chinese tourists to 6700.

The figures come after national carrier Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe this week told MPs not enough is being done to promote the country as an attractive destination.

The tourism sector has been in the doldrums since the global financial crisis in 2008, when financial markets collapsed and oil prices surged, causing widespread unemployment and eroding people's discretionary spending on long-haul travel.

New Zealanders continued to quit the country for Australia in June, with 1029 more people leaving than arriving.

There was a net outflow of 1029 migrants in June, smaller than 1491 a year earlier, taking the annual outflow to 3191, turning around an inflow of 3867.

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Rob Fyfe has been playing the same old "everyone else isn't doing enough" record for years.

Air New Zealand has cancelled Beijing, it has reduced capacity on Shanghai and wants to blame someone else for not promoting their product.

By contrast China Southern has entered this market and in less than two years is now bringing more tourists to New Zealand than Air New Zealand's entire US market - and Air New Zealand has a monopoly.

A tale of two very different levels of managerial performance.

Rob, seriously, go hard or go home.

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