6 Aug 2009

Growth in tourism numbers slows

3:11 pm on 6 August 2009

The Ministry of Tourism says swine flu and the economic downturn have contributed to a lower forecast for international visitor arrivals.

An average annual growth rate of 2.5% is now expected over the next seven years, down from last year's projection of 4%.

Ministry research manager Bruce Bassett says while the forecasts are lower, the overall outlook for tourism remains positive.

International visitor numbers are predicted to reach 2.9 million by 2015. That figure is 455,000 higher than the number of tourists currently coming to New Zealand.