More tourists visit New Zealand


The Travel Agents Association is surprised there has been an increase in tourist numbers to New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand says there were 2.4 million visitors in the February 2008 year, which is a 2% rise on 2007.

Association chief executive Paul Yeo says New Zealand is not a hot destination for holidaymakers at the moment.

He says in the next year there will be little growth because the high New Zealand dollar is making it more expensive for visitors.

The new figures show a 2% rise in the number of tourists from Australia and a 47% drop in people coming from Taiwan.

But travel agents are benefiting from more New Zealanders going on overseas trips.

The figures show 1.9 million holidays were taken by people in the year ending February 2008 – a 7% increase on the previous year.

Yeo says the strong New Zealand dollar is one of the major factors and while the dollar makes it difficult for importers, it goes a long way overseas.

Statistics show a 5% increase on the number of trips New Zealanders took to Australia on the previous year.