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Surge in Chinese spending compensates for fall from New Zealand's traditional markets


11:18, May 14, 2013

WELLINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- A surge in spending by Chinese visitors to New Zealand is helping to compensate for falling spending by tourists from traditional markets, according to New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The ministry's International Visitor Survey released Tuesday showed Chinese visitors spent 673 million NZ dollars (556.93 million U.S. dollars) in the year to the end of March, a rise of 42 percent from the previous 12 months.

Sector performance manager Peter Ellis said in a statement that the increase was a continuation of the strong growth in the Chinese market in the last two years. "In 2012 China overtook the United Kingdom as New Zealand's second largest tourist market after Australia. This quarter that growth continued, while expenditure by visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 25 percent," said Ellis.

"The net effect of these and other, smaller changes is that international visitor expenditure has remained stable in the year to March 2013 at 5.5 billion NZ dollars."

However, the survey also found that Chinese visitors expressed a lower level of satisfaction with New Zealand than visitors from the other top 10 markets except for the Republic of Korea.

On average, 48 percent of these visitors gave New Zealand the top mark for satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10, while just 30 percent of Chinese did so.

The survey is based on interviews of 5,200 tourists per year departing from New Zealand airports.

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