The latest international visitor arrival figures from New Zealand show continued growth with total arrivals up 11.7 per cent for the year ending November and another successful spring.
The results come as the tourism industry heads into what promises to be the biggest summer on record.
The 2016 spring shoulder season growth was strong with a 16.1 per cent increase in holiday arrivals across the September-November months.
Brighid Kelly, acting Tourism New Zealand chief executive explained this is a great result when compared to the 15.1 per cent growth seen over last year’s peak.
“What we are seeing is a continuation of growth in our shoulder seasons outstripping the peak.
“This is great news as Tourism New Zealand continues with its work to promote only shoulder season travel.”
Holiday arrival figures for Australia, India and the United States were also of particular note.
“Nearly 32,000 more Americans holidayed in New Zealand compared to the same time last year, made possible by increased airline routes and new airlines coming on board,” added Brighid.
“Arrivals from the US grew at a steady rate across 2016, something we are expecting to continue as our recent work to train over 2,000 US based travel agents on what New Zealand has to offer starts paying off in travel bookings.”
Australia, a priority market also saw significant growth in holiday arrivals, up 8.9 per cent on the same time last year.
Brighid said: “We have been running significant campaigns in Australia over the last few months especially focused on travel outside the peak season and this, alongside increased flights from eight ports across Australia, has encouraged more visitors across the Tasman.”
Holiday arrivals from the emerging Indian market have also continued to grow, with a 22.3 per cent year end increase compared to November 2015.
Earlier this year tourism was confirmed as New Zealand’s top export pumping over $14.5 billion into the economy and directly employing over 188,000 people.