26 October 2008

Global Financial Crisis Impacting on New Zealand Visitor Arrivals

For some months now I have been getting rather gloomy about New Zealand's international visitor numbers. Having been hit by a supply shock in the form of rising jet fuel prices, airlines are now being hit by a demand shock and those that plan to survive will need to make some tough decisions. Those people that wish to see aviation emissions reduced and aircraft grounded may be in luck the way things are going, in the short term at least.

The September 2008 New Zealand International Visitor Arrivals:
  • Australia 82,317 down 2.6%
  • UK 10,580 down 5.3%
  • USA 9,131 down 11.6%
  • Canada 2,139 up 12.0%
  • China 5,497 down 33.2%
  • Korea 4,577 down 30.7%
  • Japan 6,486 down 22.1%
The total number was down by 6.6%.

Will the recent dramatic fall in the value of the NZ$ start to have a positive impact in some of these markets?

The NZ Ministry of Tourism does a good monthly analysis of this data in a Commentary and its Tourism Leading Indicators Monitor. I look at the provisional numbers that come through every Friday and at my work we also have the raw data direct from Statistics NZ. The NZ Ministry of Transport is the only one that gets the airline-by-airline statistics as, unlike in Australia for example, here they are regarded as commercially sensitive.

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