We have seen some positive statistics released from Tourism New Zealand on Friday in their article “Optimism Up As Record Arrivals Kick-Start Summer” that show arrivals into New Zealand for December 2009 we up nearly 6% over December 2008 with our Australian VFR market contributing considerably towards that and even arrivals from the US market increased by over 11%.
There are mixed comments from the regions as to whether tourism operators have benefited, in this NZ Herald article numbers are still reported as “patchy” in the Auckland Region but a successful summer for tourism in Northland.
Do these numbers indicate we are out of the recession for the tourism industry? Are arrivals a good indicator anyway? If arrivals are dominated by low spending Aussies then how much economic benefit is there really when they often stay with friends and family?
So by and large it is still questionable as to whether the recession is over, but it could certainly be worse and these statistics may indicate it’s likely we can look forward to continual improvement in arrivals. Let hope we can continue to lure back more of the lucrative travellers from the UK, Europe and US markets.
What’s it been like for your tourism business or region this summer? Have you had to cut back prices to increase your bookings? What are your expectations for the 2010?