Visitor arrivals to New Zealand slumped by 6.6% during September. All major inbound markets fell. The sharpest drops were recorded by China, Korea and Japan. Tourism NZ chief executive George Hickton said “things will be even more challenging in 2009” as consumers cut travel spending.

He said one bright spot was the resilience of Australian visitors (down 2.6%) who Hickton predicted would become even more important to the NZ tourism economy. “With long-haul travel becoming more expensive, Australians will be looking to holiday closer to home, providing a lot of opportunities for New Zealand.” Travel Trends: October 23, 2008

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