November 29, 2018

Growth in international visitors to New Zealand

New Zealand hits 3.82 million visitors in October 2018. Australians still make up the largest share of visitors, but Chinese visitors now represent 12% of total visitors.

Just over 280,000 international visitors arrived in New Zealand in the month of October 2018. This is an increase of around 25,000 on the month of September 2018 and signals the start of the peak summer season for New Zealand tourism. Given current growth trends it is likely that total annual international visitors will hit 3.9 million by the end of summer.

Source: Statistics NZ

Overall Australia is our largest market for international visitors, with almost 1.5 million or 39 percent of total annual international visitors. Australia’s share of the New Zealand’s international visitor market though has been slowly shrinking, despite the total number of visitors increasing. In 2012 Australian international visitors comprised 45 percent of total international visitors, with 1.16 million visitors from Australia.

Source: Statistics NZ

As can be seen in the figure above, since 2012 Chinese visitors has grown from 200,000 international visitors and 7.5 percent of the market to 450,000 international visitors and 12 percent of the market. This has seen Chinese visitors overtake the Americas visitors (including the US and Canada), and with the continued downturn in the number of visitors arriving from Europe, it will not be too long before the Chinese visitor market overtakes the 570,000 annual international visitors from Europe.