Chinese Tourists Invade New Zealand

New Zealand admitted a record monthly number of visitors in December last year, pushed up by increasing number of travelers from Australia and China, the government statistics agency said Friday.

“There were 364,200 visitor arrivals in December 2011, the highest recorded for any month,” Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said in a statement.

“This was five percent more than the previous high of 345,700 in December 2010.”

The increase in visitors was mainly due to 14,200 more arrivals, including 8,400 New Zealand citizens, to visit friends and relatives, said the statement.

Holiday arrivals were up 2,100 and arrivals for conferences and conventions were up 1,200.

More visitors came from Australia, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, but fewer from the United Kingdom, said the statement.

Visitors from the United Kingdom had dropped in most months since April 2007.

A commentary attributed the increase in Australian visitors last December to a rise of 7,800 arrivals by Australian-based New Zealand citizens.

“Most of the increase in visitors from China was from those staying up to three days only (up 3,000). The short length of stay is because trips to New Zealand are often combined with Australia,” said the commentary.

“Outbound travel from China has increased rapidly in recent years. New Zealand has had more visitors from China in each month since May 2010, compared with the same month of the previous year.

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