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New Zealand tourism celebrates great year in spending

Staff Writer |
New Zealand's tourism industry is having a boom time with overseas visitors spending a record 10.3 billion NZ dollars ($7.47 billion) in the year ending June.

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The international visitor spend was up 18 percent from the previous June year, said the report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

"The latest data shows significant growth in visitor spend from tourists from our key Asian markets with spend from South Korea up 92 percent to 293 million NZ dollars ($212.63 million), Japan up 57 percent to 287 million NZ dollars ($208.27 million) and China up 33 percent to 1.8 billion NZ dollars ($1.3 billion)," said MBIE manager of sector trends Peter Ellis.

Over the last quarter, the average price of return airfares in New Zealand dollars had decreased in all of New Zealand's biggest tourism markets - Australia, China, the U.S., the UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and South Korea - which could be encouraging more visitors to make the trip, Ellis said in a statement.

The results suggest that while international visitor spend was continuing to grow, the growth rate had fallen from its peak of 38 percent in the year ended September 2015.

The government's Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) agency said the figures showed great progress in increasing the value of international visitors.

TNZ chief executive Kevin Bowler said the spending figures were good news for the tourism industry, coming on the same day as statistics show total holiday arrivals were up 21 percent year on year for the month of July and up 17 percent for the year ending July.

"The big increase in holiday arrivals in our key markets of Australia, China and the United States is exceptional," Bowler said in a statement.

"China continues to deliver strong growth, with holiday arrivals up 31.5 percent, supported by similar strong performances across our other Asian markets, including Indonesia, up 14 percent, Japan up 20.9 percent and India up 23.8 percent," he said.

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