January 2015 tourist arrivals decline from record high

Data released by the Statistics Office showed that 6,621 tourists arrived in January 2015, a 196 person decrease (-2.9 per cent) as compared to January 2014. 

Despite the decline from 2014, the 6,621 arrivals is the second highest on record for a January (January 2014 being the highest January on record). 

55 per cent of total visitor arrivals (3,624) came from New Zealand and 19 per cent (1,234) came from Australia. 

Compared to January 2014, the decline was driven almost exclusively by Australian tourists (down 236) with other markets either flat or experiencing small improvements. 

“For the last three months (November to January) Australian arrivals have been disappointing, being 1,128 down from the same three months the year before.” MFEM Economic Advisor James Webb said. “Hopefully this trend corrects as 2015 wears on, but growth has typically not occurred in the low months of January through March. Our forecasts have been conservative, with actual arrivals tending to exceed expectations, so we are comfortable with our current outlook of low or no growth in total tourism arrivals for the remainder of the financial year.” 

“As always, destination development, improved productivity, and improving the value for money of tourism services (particularly for accommodation) should remain the industry’s focus going forward.”

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