Roaring start for NZ tourism summer

After a bumpy year for the New Zealand tourism industry, the summer has got off to a flying start with visitor numbers to New Zealand up by seven percent in November 2006. Figures just released from Statistics New Zealand show the number of visitors to New Zealand increased by 7.1 percent this November compared with the same time last year. Holiday arrivals increased by 10.6%

Indications from the tourism industry are that it has been a tough year, says Mr Hickton. Those involved in markets like Japan have been particularly hard hit. It is great to see that the numbers are creeping up. The upcoming season is looking very positive and the industry should reap the benefits this summer.

Australia was the star player, with visitor numbers increasing by 10.3% in November to 70,070 with holiday visitors up 21%. This is the third month in a row that figures from Australia have been in double digits. The Whats On campaign was launched in this market in early August, and it appears to be having a real impact, says Mr Hickton. We are delighted with these results.

The Japanese market also showed some recovery, with visitor arrival numbers static, as opposed to the decreases evident for much of this year. Mr Hickton says there is much activity in this market at present. This includes leveraging work around the Mauri Ora exhibition being taken to Japan by Te Papa in January and the very popular New Zealand Travel Caf that has just opened in Tokyo in conjunction with Air New Zealand.