31 Dec 2008

Australians still expected by NZ despite tourism falls there

6:04 am on 31 December 2008

The Tourism Industry Association predicts Australians will still visit New Zealand, despite a forecast that Australia is about to see its biggest drop in overseas tourist numbers in 20 years.

Tourism Australia expects inbound travel there will fall by 4.1% next year - the largest drop since 1989. The biggest falls are expected to be in visitors from Japan, by almost 30%.

However, the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand says efforts are already underway to attract more Australians to New Zealand.

Chief executive Tim Cossar says there's no question a decline in Australian tourism will affect New Zealand.

He says Australia is New Zealand's largest inbound tourism market and it's vital that it remains so.