As a long-time favourite with adventure travellers, New Zealand dropped just 121 visitors in its arrivals figure last year and the number of Middle Eastern visitors actually grew by 12.7 per cent.
Total visitors for the year ended December 2009 was 2,458,382 – 121 fewer than in 2008, despite the difficult economic conditions.
Gregg Anderson, regional manager UK and Europe, for Tourism New Zealand, said: “Strong growth out of Australia offset a falloff in all the other major markets – UK/Europe and the US were affected by the recession; while China and Japan suffered from the recession and H1N1. This long-haul drop-off helped intermediate points such as the Middle East and Singapore as there was not as much competition for seats from Europe to New Zealand/Australia. Increases in capacity, new carriers and the introduction of A380s to the region also helped.”
The Middle East accounted for 22,720 visitors, up 12.7 per cent on 2009. Of these 7,088 came from the UAE, 4,292 from Saudi Arabia, 756 from Bahrain and 504 from Kuwait.
Of overall visitors, 72 per cent engaged in walking/hiking, 28 per cent in boating, seven per cent in canoeing or kayaking, six per cent in snow sports, six per cent in swimming with dolphins, four per cent in bungy jumping, four per cent in whale watching, three per cent in sky diving, two per cent in cycling or horse riding and one per cent in caving.
Options on offer include helming a former Americas Cup yacht in Auckland and skiing an active volcano at Ruapehu and, of course, New Zealand is the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping.
Anderson added: “New Zealand’s landscape and temperate climate lend themselves to outdoor activity and most activities are available widely.
“The country is renowned for its range of adventure pastimes – the best known being bungy jumping, jetboat riding, rafting and skiing. But adventure means different things to different people and the best aspect of the New Zealand adventure scene is that it provides activities rated from ‘soft’ to ‘extreme’.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.