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Travellers turning east, rather than west, thanks to exchange rate

Jun 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

THE HIGH exchange rate is taking New Zealanders to the United States in record numbers.

Just over 2.16 million New Zealanders travelled overseas in the year finishing April 2013.

This was a rise of 2% from the previous year’s 2.12 million, according to Statistics New Zealand’s International Travel and Migration report for April.

This included a 12.5% jump of tourists travelling to the United States, up 13,900 from the previous year.

This continues the trend of the April 2011-2012 year where there was a 10% rise in numbers to 110,372 from 99,109.

The Americas region, which includes Canada and South American Countries, climbed over 11%, up more than 16,120 from the previous year.

One traveller to the States, Rob Dalgety says he chose to go to America because it was cheaper because of the exchange rate than Europe and it is an English speaking country.

“It is further away than Australia, which makes it feel more like an O.E.” he says.

Travellers to Australia were down 7600 from the year prior, a drop of 1%.

Daniel Beard, another who is planning a trip to the US, says he is still wanting to go to Australia but the exchange rate means it is just as cheap to go to America.

A travel agent from Flight Centre, who asked not to be named, said the dollar was the biggest driver.

“The good New Zealand dollar is making travel to the States more affordable, It was still a good cultural change that you don’t tend to get in Australia.”

The report also shows visitor numbers to New Zealand stayed nearly the same in the year ending April with only 471 more people coming into the country climbing from 2.615 million to 2.166 million.

Chinese numbers have risen over the last year to 216,832, with 48,668 tourists travelling to New Zealand a jump of 28.9% on the previous year’s figure of 168,164.

This however was not the same the other way with only 648 more New Zealanders travelling to China from last year, just a 1% difference.

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