Growth in newly emerged tourism markets such as China has
yet to translate into a significant increase in visitor numbers
in Queenstown, the resort's marketing organisation told its
However, the number of nights spent by tourists in Queenstown
has bucked the national trend and increased, because of its
heavily weighted mix of more domestic visitors and more
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd told the
Queenstown Times before the organisation's quarterly
update at the Copthorne Lakefront Hotel, he was confident
growth from newly emerged Asian markets would be seen, but
was just developing.
"The length of stay of all of our visitors is shortening and
the longer-stay visitors are declining, so that's a direct
link between the long-haul markets like the UK and Europe and
United States, because they tended to stay longer, and the
growth of Chinese tourists in particular who are only staying
for a few days," Mr Budd said.
"International holiday visitor numbers to New Zealand have
been very flat for the past five years with very little
There had been a change in markets. The traditional ones such
as the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States
declining, and Australia and China-Southeast Asia growing.
Domestic visitors were often overlooked in both the national
and Queenstown picture but were critically important - often
more important numerically in some places than overseas
visitors, Mr Budd said.
"For Queenstown, the domestic visitor numbers are a smaller
proportion of our overall numbers, but they have actually
been very important in the last 12 months. As our
international visitor numbers have declined, the domestic
visitor numbers increased and helped us hold our own in terms
of overall visitor nights and expenditure."
Mr Budd said the resort had a different visitor mix, with a
high proportion (82%) visiting for a holiday, but elsewhere
in New Zealand an average of only 48% visited for a holiday
and a third were visiting friends and relatives.
Mr Budd said domestic passengers passing through Queenstown
Airport increased by 11.6% to 850,000 and international
visitors increased 21.2% to almost 200,000, both year on
year, a 13.3% increase in 12 months.
"A very important part of our overall marketing thrust is how
easy it is to get here," Mr Budd said.
"We're a remote location - the growth in direct flights and
visitor numbers are a key part in our overall growth.
"Our challenge, and our opportunity now, is to hold those
domestic numbers and try to grow them while growing the
international numbers," he said.