14 May 2013

Chinese visitor spend continues to grow

2:12 pm on 14 May 2013

Figures for the first three months of the year show a big lift in spending by Chinese visitors to New Zealand.

Chinese tourists spent almost $680 million in the year to March, an increase of 42% over the same period in 2012, figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show.

Ministry spokesperson Peter Ellis says the Chinese market has grown steadily over the past two years and China has overtaken Britain as the country's second biggest tourist market.

Over the March quarter, spending by British visitors declined by 25%.

Spending by all visitors remained stable over the March year.

The figures are based on interviews with more than 5000 tourists leaving New Zealand airports over the period.