More visitors to New Zealand

New Zealand had nearly 3 million visitors from overseas countries in the year to May 31st. This is an amazing number of visitors for a population of only just over 4 million. It is the highest figure we have ever had. Visitors from Australia make up the biggest number, followed by China then USA. Most are holiday-makers but some are here to visit family and friends or are on business.

During May this year, 24,700 visitors came from China which is 45% more than the figure for May 2014. Most of these people came on holiday package tours.

Tourism New Zealand is planning to focus advertising on spring and autumn. We cannot take many more summer visitors as accommodation is mostly full at that time. There is a shortage of rental cars and camper vans in summer also. Winter is popular for skiers, especially if snow conditions continue to be good this season. However, visitors from the Northern Hemisphere might enjoy autumn colours in the South Island and spring flowers in many parts of New Zealand. We often have mild day time temperatures during spring and autumn.

Indoor attractions like the new $12m museum on the Waitangi Treaty grounds can give visitors something to do when the weather is not good. We can also focus more on food and wine throughout the year. Many regions offer wine tasting and interesting restaurants.

Air New Zealand will open new routes at the end of this year from Houston and Buenos Aires. The airline is planning to grow 12% in the second half of this year and 11% next year. This kind of growth is unusual for an airline.

While international tourism is good for our economy, jobs in the tourism sector are mostly low paid jobs. Perhaps the challenge now is to create better paid jobs for people employed in the tourism industry.


• Northern Hemisphere – north half of the globe; NZ is in the Southern Hemisphere
• mild (adj) – not too cold
• sector (noun) – a part of the economy
• challenge (noun) – take action, make an effort


1. What kind of jobs are available in the tourism business? Are any of these well paid?
2. Can you suggest other things that visitors can do during autumn, winter or spring?

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