22 Sep 2010

Asian becoming key source of tourists

9:48 am on 22 September 2010

Asia is expected to rapidly overtake Australia as the key source of New Zealand's tourism growth.

Earlier this year Tourism New Zealand's launched a new digital and social media campaign in China, to promote the benefits of a New Zealand holiday.

It's a lucrative market: on average, Chinese visitors spend close to $NZ4000 while here on holiday - more than double the amount that Australians spend.

Visitor arrivals from Asia rose by more than 10% in the year to August, while visitors numbers from Australia rose 8.5% percent.

Forsyth Barr research head Rob Mercer expects the rate of tourism growth from Australia to halve to between 2% - 5% within the next two years, and by 5% - 10% for long haul markets.

The Tourism Industry Association says global tourism markets have been tough for a while and it's encouraging to see improved growth from China and other Asian markets.