Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Adventure Travel

Arabs favour New Zealand
March 2010 1097

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’.”

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