New Zealand tourism starts to feel downturn pinch

The global downturn is beginning to gnaw away at New Zealand’s usually-robust tourism market. Visitor arrivals were down 2.1% to just over 140,000 visitors in June 2008 compared to the same month in 2007.“It appears global economic uncertainty as well as local factors like the US election have had an impact on some of New Zealand’s major markets,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said.

The presidential race in the U.S. and concerns over the economy appear to have hit the US, with arrivals for June down 12.4%. The UK however picked up slightly with arrivals up by 2.2%.

Highlights of New Zealand’s International Visitor arrivals June 2008:

Australia - 64,904, up 1.9%

UK - 9,785, up 2.2%

USA - 12,616, down -12.4%

Canada - 1,577, down -3.5%

China - 5,054, down -24.0%
Korea - 6,042, down -17.6%
Japan - 7,030, down -4.4%