Olympics cause dip in visitor arrivals

A dip in Chinese visitor arrivals in August has demonstrated the importance of this growing market to New Zealand’s tourism industry.
According to Tourism New Zealand, the ‘stay at home’ influence of the Olympics and a continued ban on government travel after the May Sichuan earthquake resulted in a 29 per cent drop (2,600) in Chinese visitor arrivals in August.
“The drop in Chinese arrivals, on top of softening numbers in many major markets, shows the growing importance of Chinese visitors to New Zealand’s tourism industry,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said.
Overall, visitor arrivals to New Zealand were down 1.4 per cent in August 2008, a decrease of 2,300 people from August 2007.
Earlier this month, Tourism New Zealand launched a new $7 million campaign in the UK to give immediacy and urgency to the idea of coming to New Zealand rather than the current perception of a ‘nice to do one day’.
“The ‘What Do You Say UK?’ campaign launch is just the injection we need to raise awareness of New Zealand in the UK at a time when economic concerns and competition from other destinations are clearly having an impact,” Mr Hickton