Chinese New Year, cricket break tourism records

Arrivals in the 12 months to February passed 2.9 million for the first time.

The combination of Chinese New Year and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has boosted tourist arrivals to record levels in February.

Arrivals were up 14% to 343,500 compared with the comparable month last year.

The 12-month total pushed arrivals above 2.9 million for the first time.

Chinese tourists were up 100% (27,500) to 56,000 while a record number came from America (up 5000 to 36,700).

Arrivals from Taiwan also doubled to 4800, helped by new flights from Taipei to Christchurch via Sydney.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says much of the growth is driven from the higher-value holiday visitor, with holiday arrivals for the month up 24.2%.
 
“Chinese New Year is a key travel period for this market so it is great to see that reflected in the months arrivals,” he says.

“What is even more encouraging is the increase in holiday stay days, up 30.6% for the year ended February, which is a great sign that we are attracting more high quality Chinese visitors.”

Growth for the month was further bolstered by the Cricket World Cup, which started in February.

Tourism New Zealand’s activity around this major sporting event has targetted the key markets of Australia, India and the UK, Mr Bowler says.

“As a result these markets have seen positive growth for the month with Australia up 1.6%, the UK up 1.8% and India up an incredible 36.0%.”
 
Holiday results are strong out of the Asian markets of Singapore (up 9.2%), Japan (up 11.6%), Korea (up 12.2%) for the year ending February 2015.

Emerging markets are showing strong year-on-year growth include Brazil (up 12.4%) and Indonesia (up 13.3%).