21 September 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INTERNATIONAL VISITOR ARRIVALS REACH NEW HIGH
Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith has welcomed today's Statistics New Zealand data, which shows the highest number of
international arrivals in New Zealand's history.
International visitor arrivals to New Zealand have reached an all time high of 1,554,698 arrivals in the year ended
August 1999, an increase of seven percent over the previous year.
"This new high tops the previous mark set in March 1997 before the New Zealand tourism sector suffered from the effects
of the Asian economic crisis, and represents a real milestone for the New Zealand tourism sector," Dr Smith said.
"Today's results are positive not just for the tourism industry, but for all New Zealanders. Research shows that each
international visitor spends an average of $2,640, meaning that the arrivals over the past year may have contributed as
much as $4.1 billion in foreign exchange to the New Zealand economy.
"This means more jobs and business opportunities for New Zealanders, as well as increased tax revenue for the
"But the real winner today is the New Zealand tourism industry - the owners, operators, the Tourism Industry Association
and the New Zealand Tourism Board, who have worked together over the past couple of years to develop a fresh, dynamic
approach to marketing New Zealand in our offshore markets.
"These are exciting times for the tourism industry. Today's statistics don't include data covering the recent APEC
summit, and we can expect ongoing growth from major events such as the America's Cup and Millennium events over the
coming year. The challenge is to sustain this growth into the first decade of the new millennium," Dr Smith said.