A surge in visitors from China helped smash records for New Zealand's burgeoning tourism industry in the 2015-2016 financial year, the government tourism agency said Friday.
Tourism New Zealand's annual report detailed a record year for international inbound tourism numbers, levels of tourist expenditure, referrals to travel partners and industry, and visitors to its digital media sites.
While Australia remained the top visitor market with more than 1.3 million travelers arriving, up by 6 percent year on year, China was second and growing faster than any of the other tier one markets, according to the report.
The number of visitors from China was up almost 29 percent to almost 400,000 in the year to the end of June, said the report.
"The 2015-2016 year was an incredible year for Tourism New Zealand. Records were broken across the board with the organization increasing the value of international tourism to New Zealand," chief executive Kevin Bowler said in the report.
The report said a total of 3.3 million visitors came to New Zealand in the year ending June, spending an average of 4,000 NZ dollars (2,925 U.S. dollars) each and contributing 10.3 billion NZ dollars (7.53 billion U.S. dollars) to the economy.