A record-breaking 17,680 Filipinos visited New Zealand for vacation in the year ending August 2016, up by 25 percent compared to the previous year.
Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager in South and South East Asia Steven Dixon said the steady rise in tourist arrivals from the Philippines was a good indication of New Zealand’s increasing appeal as a holiday destination.
“Increased air capacity, such as Philippines Airlines’ (PAL) four times weekly direct services via Cairns, has made it easier than ever to visit New Zealand and we are pleased to see how many Filipinos are taking the opportunity to come and explore.
“With its stunning landscapes, incredibly fresh air and wide variety of holiday activities such as visiting film locations, experiencing Maori culture and going on gourmet food tours, New Zealand is proving to be a popular travel destination especially for Filipinos,” Dixon said.
Tourism has overtaken dairy as the nation’s top earner of overseas dollars. And tourism officials said the success of the fantasy movie trilogy “The Hobbit” has helped. A record 3.4 million visitors arrived in New Zealand in the year ending September, mostly from Australia, China and the US.
Kevin Bowler, the chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, said people were drawn to New Zealand by its spectacular landscapes and its outdoor lifestyle. The hobbit movies showcased some of that scenery and were heavily marketed overseas.
New Zealanders have long been outnumbered by their farm animals. With a population of 4.7 million people, the nation is also home to 29 million sheep and 10 million cows.
Dixon added that with the rise in Filipino visitors to New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand is seeking to strengthen tourism ties between the two countries.—WITH A REPORT FROM AP