China tourist numbers surge into third place

28 September 2012

China Tourism

China has overtaken the United States to become New Zealand’s third biggest tourist market, and is poised to move into second according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest International Visitors Survey.

Chinese visitors to New Zealand spent $522 million in the year ended June 2012, an increase of 27 per cent on the previous 12 months and just short of the $568 million spent by UK visitors in the same period.

Australia is still number one with 1.17 million visitors who spent $1.6 billion. Visitors to New Zealand spent a total of $5.6 billion in the period covered by the survey, similar to last year’s $5.5 billion despite the fact visitor numbers had increased by 5 per cent to 2.6 million. Each tourist spent an average of 19.4 days in the country.

The International Visitor Survey is based on interviews with 5200 tourists a year as they depart from New Zealand airports.