Tourism New Zealand has revealed UK visitor numbers in the first half of 2013 were up 3.3 per cent compared with the same time last year.
Globally, there has been a strong increase in international visitor arrivals, setting a solid base for the winter season.
“When we look at the first six months of the year we see a strong picture for arrivals –with total arrivals up 5.8 per cent against the same period last year and holiday arrivals up ten per cent,” explained Justin Watson, Tourism New Zealand acting chief executive.
“This puts the industry in a great good place ahead of the 2013 ski season which has already seen a solid start - with record levels of snow to all ski-fields and Australian arrivals up 17 per cent for the month.
“We anticipate seeing further growth over the coming months.”
For the first six months of the year holiday arrivals are up across Tourism New Zealand’s top six markets: Australia six per cent, China 30.9 per cent, US 20.7 per cent, UK 3.3 per cent, Japan 7.8 per cent, Germany 2.9 per cent.
“It is encouraging to see this growth from our traditional long-haul markets after what has been a difficult few years for the industry,” added Watson.
The US has become the third-largest source of visitors to New Zealand.
“The underlying growth from the long-haul markets further supports the positive impact seen from the investment in marketing New Zealand’s association with the Hobbit trilogy,” continued Watson.
“Our 100 per cent Middle-earth, 100 per cent Pure New Zealand campaign continues to achieve its objectives - providing the additional motivation and reason to convert interest in a holiday to New Zealand into an actual booking.”