Record number of tourists to Auckland over summer

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Auckland holiday makers enjoy the summer heat at Mission Bay. Photo: Greg Bowker
Auckland holiday makers enjoy the summer heat at Mission Bay. Photo: Greg Bowker

A record number of visitors have flocked to Auckland this summer.

More than 824,000 international arrivals into the region between December 2015 and February 2016 - up 10.7 per cent on the previous summer according to Statistics New Zealand International Travel and Migration data.

Holiday visitor arrivals were up 15.2 per cent to 425,664 from 369,408 compared to the same period last summer.

Double-digit growth among Chinese holidaymakers saw 85,616 arrivals into Auckland, up 16.9 per cent. Auckland is also continuing to prove a popular destination for Australian holidaymakers with 87,952 arrivals (up 5.9%).

In January, Auckland experienced a record 715,000 guest nights (up 3.8%), with the biggest growth occurring from the international markets at 325,000 guest nights (up 4.5%) according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Commercial Accommodation Monitor. December guest nights were up 2.8 per cent on the previous year to 650,000.

Mayor Len Brown says a strong visitor economy has many flow on effects which benefit both Auckland and New Zealand as a whole.

"Tourism has reclaimed the top spot as the country's number one export earner and it's not hard to see why with such sustained growth in visitor numbers," he says.

"More visitors to Auckland creates more jobs and more money for the economy, and supports the development of better infrastructure to accelerate the our transformation to become the world's most liveable city."

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive, Brett O'Riley, says: "It's fantastic to see another record breaking summer for Auckland.

"We'd heard anecdotally that Auckland was busy with many of our accommodation and tourism operators reporting they were at capacity during certain periods, and now we have the results to back this up.

"We know the main demand and accommodation constraints occur during the summer months of the year, but the new hotel developments over the next three to five years should help relieve some of this pressure.

"A focus of the Auckland Visitor Plan is addressing seasonality so we want to show our key markets that we have a fantastic city to visit year-round by highlighting aspects like our thriving arts and culture scene, world-class food and beverage and close proximity to a stunning natural playground."

- The Aucklander

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