International visitor arrivals for December have rounded out an impressive year of growth for New Zealand.

December saw more than 400,000 arrivals, marking the highest number of visitors ever recorded for any month, pushing total arrivals to over 2.8 million.

The data, released today by Statistics New Zealand, reveals that total holiday arrivals for the year ending December are up 6.9 per cent, topping off a great year for the tourism industry.

“It has been a stellar year of growth which we expect to see continue into 2015,” Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) chief executive, Kevin Bowler said.

Overall growth has been supported by strong holiday arrivals from Western markets with holiday arrivals from Germany and the US up 18.8 per cent and 11.6 per cent respectively.

“These figures are outstanding for the industry as both Germany and the US are long-staying, high-value visitors. We know that these results are strongly linked to our efforts in promoting New Zealand as the real Middle-earth.”

Holiday results are also strong out of the Asian markets of Singapore (up 9.9 per cent), Japan (up 6.7 per cent), Korea (up 9.9 per cent) and China (up 15.2 per cent).

Tourism New Zealand’s priority emerging markets are performing well with total arrivals from India up an impressive 20.7 per cent, Brazil up 15.2 per cent and Indonesia up 11.6 per cent year-on-year.

“The new year brings with it a number of key opportunities to further leverage New Zealand on the international scale,” Mr Bowler said.

The 2015 International Cricket World Cup which kicks off in two weeks will see New Zealand broadcast live to a global audience of a billion people.

“Tourism New Zealand is working to leverage this exposure of New Zealand in our key markets of the UK, Australia and the emerging market of India.”

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