22 Mar 2013

Chinese New Year pushes tourist numbers to record level

3:15 pm on 22 March 2013

The number of visitor arrivals in February were up 9% on February 2012.

Statistics New Zealand says it was driven by an increase in the number of visitors during the Chinese New Year, with more people arriving from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The figures show visitor arrivals rose by 22,000 to 281,000 for the month.

On an annual basis, the number of Chinese tourists rose while visitors from the United Kingdom fell.

In the year to February, more than 2500 visitors arrived in New Zealand, down 1% on the previous year, which included arrivals for the Rugby World Cup.

Figures out earlier this week showed the current account deficit has widened on an annual basis, with one of the drivers being a drop in spending by tourists.

Meanwhile, the number of people arriving to live and work in New Zealand rose and the number departing fell, resulting in a seasonally-adjusted net gain of 550 migrants.