26 Dec 2013

Tourism sector sees big boost

5:34 am on 26 December 2013

The New Zealand tourism industry bounced back in 2013, with the biggest annual increase in visitor arrivals since 2004.

More than 2.7 million people are forecast to visit New Zealand by year's end, an increase of almost 10% on last year.

Tourism New Zealand is quietly optimistic the industry, which has languished since the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, may have turned a corner.

Chief executive Kevin Bowler says the improvement in the American and British economies is part of the success.

But he also attributes much of the success to the Hobbit movies that were filmed here.