The tourism industry is heading towards an annual arrivals figure of three million, with data in late May showing yet another month of growth in visitor arrivals.

Visitor arrivals for the year ending April 2015 have been boosted significantly by visitors from Asia, and are sitting now at 2.96 million says Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.

The Statistics New Zealand data sees total arrivals for the year up 6.7 per cent, and holiday arrivals up 9.7 per cent.

"The recent trend of growth has continued long past the traditional holiday season giving us some outstanding numbers. While China continues to see impressive growth, with holiday arrivals up 27.4 per cent, it is encouraging to see this growth reflected across all of our targeted markets in Asia," Mr Bowler said.

Holiday arrivals for the year ending April have seen growth out of Japan (19.5 per cent), Korea (19.5 per cent), Singapore (12.0 per cent), Malaysia (15.9 per cent) and Thailand (17.6 per cent).

"This growth has been further boosted by an increase in holiday arrivals out of the Western markets with the US up 12.4 per cent, UK up 7.3 per cent and Germany up 8.2 per cent for the year ended April. What these figures show is that our peak season is slowly extending later into the shoulder months which is an encouraging trend," said Mr Bowler.

"Peak season arrival growth, along with Chinese New Year, is leading to capacity constraints during summer. To combat this and maintain growth in arrivals Tourism New Zealand is shifting its efforts to promoting arrivals in the October/November and March/April periods particularly.

"This is a significant shift for Tourism New Zealand that will see our new campaign work go live as of July 1, three months earlier than it previously would have," he said.
Australia has maintained steady growth with holiday arrivals up 2.2 per cent.

"Heading into winter our focus now moves to promoting our ski season in Australia with the 'more magic in every day' campaign, encouraging Australians to cross the ditch for their winter break," he said.

Tourism New Zealand's priority emerging markets are also performing well with total arrivals from Brazil up 10.4 per cent, Indonesia up 6.8 per cent and India up a "staggering" 29.6 per cent.