International visitor arrivals are holding steady as the tourism industry heads into the off-peak season, with visitor arrivals down only slightly in May compared with the same month last year.
Statistics New Zealand figures out today show international visitor arrivals were down 0.4 per cent in May 2010, compared to 2009, to 141,000 visitors. They were up 3 per cent for the year to date.
Arrivals from the Asian markets of China , Japan and South Korea saw significant growth compared with last May, when outbound travel from these countries was heavily impacted by the Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreak.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says arrivals from the Asian markets are yet to return to the levels seen prior to the global economic downturn, but there are still signs they are returning to strength.
“We’re unsure of the impact the Shanghai Expo will have on travel from China in the short term, but our work in this market is firmly focused on driving growth beyond 2010,” says Kevin Bowler.
Arrivals from the United States are also showing signs of improvement, with arrivals up 6.3 per cent (to 11,520 visitors) in May.