A later Easter this year caused a fall in tourist numbers in
March, Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday
Short-term visitor arrivals fell by 3% in March compared to
February but were still at a strong overall level, ASB
economist Daniel Smith said.
March arrivals were down around 6% from March 2013 levels but
that was because Easter fell in March last year and April
''In particular, the timing of Easter, and related school
holidays, may have affected arrivals from Australia, which
drove most of the monthly decline.''
On the positive side, arrivals from China continued to
recover following a law change in late 2013. The other
success story was visitor numbers from the United States,
which rose another 4.6% in March to be up 10% annually.
''Overall, continued growth in Chinese visitor numbers and
economic recovery in more traditional markets, such as the US
and United Kingdom, should drive more strong arrivals numbers
Tourism New Zealand corporate affairs general manager Chris
Roberts said Germany had overtaken Japan to become New
Zealand's fifth-largest visitor market.
Total arrivals from Germany were up 14.5% for the year to
74,224 - the highest recorded for a 12-month period and a
6.4% rise in the March month.
''The strong growth we are seeing from Germany is fantastic
for both the tourism industry and the New Zealand economy.''
German holidaymakers stayed an average of 24 days and
injected significant value into the economy during their
visit. The growth from the key traditional market in the past
12 months had seen the arrival of thousands of additional
German holidaymakers, who stayed longer, travelled more
widely and spent more.
Interest in New Zealand from the UK had surged following the
recent royal visit and potential travellers were keen to
experience similar experiences to the Royal Family, he said.
At the end of the tour, there was a 15% increase in UK visits
to the newzealand.com website and a 10% increase in US
US visitor numbers continued to grow and holiday arrivals
were up 11.1% in March.
''Interestingly, over half of the growth seen from the US has
arrived in New Zealand via Hawaii, reiterating the importance
of supporting new airlines, such as Hawaiian, which has been
operating non-stop services since March 2013.''
Total arrivals from Japan were down 10% for the month and
2.8% for the year ending March, Mr Roberts said, as the
result of reduced airline capacity over the 2014 summer
Growth in other markets across Asia during March included
China up 11.9%, Singapore up 10.8% and Korea up 2.2%.
Arrivals from India, up 24% in March, and Indonesia, up
41.2%, were also strong.