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China, France lead big NZ tourism upsurge

Apr 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

THE number of Chinese visitors to New Zealand has risen by 21% in a year and the capital has had a piece of the tourism pie.

Compared with 2010-11 when 127,837 Chinese visited the country,  some 154,318 visited in the year January 2011 to 2012, says Statistics New Zealand in an international visitor arrivals report.

Lesley Immink, chief executive of Inbound Tour Operators Council New Zealand (ITOC) says the 26,481 rise can be attributed to Tourism New Zealand and inbound tour operators who have upped their marketing efforts in China.

She says the number of Chinese heading offshore as tourists is growing at a phenomenal rate.

“Last year, 55 million Chinese left China to visit the world and of these we (as a country) received 145,000.”

Museum of Wellington City and Sea marketing co-ordinator Angela Varelas says she has noticed a rise.

“I have seen quite a lot of Chinese mainly on Simply New Zealand bus tours.”

Overall, there were 2,619,191 visitors to New Zealand in the year to January – up by 77,849 mainly because of the rugby world cup.

France had 36,607 visitors to the country, a rise of 12,028 (33%) from the year before.

This was noticed by Ted Guise from Wellington Movie Tours, who says he has seen a few Chinese travelling, but mostly he noted an increase in French visitors.

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