NZ Tourism on a high

NZ Tourism on a high

By Denise Langdon of PaR nz Golfing Holidays

New Zealand Tourism is riding an incredible wave with visitor numbers reaching almost 3 million a year, which is not bad when you consider our resident population is only 4.5 million. 

China leads the growth with visitor numbers up by 27.4 per cent, followed by Japan, 19.5 per cent, and Korea, 19.5 per cent, Singapore 12 per cent, Malaysia 15.9 per cent, and Thailand 17.6 per cent.  Western markets include growth from the US, up 12.4 per cent, the UK, 7.3 per cent, and Germany, up 8.2 per cent.

The New Zealand Government continues to support golf tourism with funding to the newly formed Golf Tourism New Zealand group, which was on show at the recent International Association of Golf Tour Operators Asian Trade Show, held in Jakarta. Along with GTNZ and Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand had representation from three other golf service providers: Destination Queenstown, Terrace Downs Golf Resort and yours truly as the only New Zealand golf tour operator in the Indonesian capital.

This year's gathering was the fourth Asia Tourism Golf Tourism Convention, and it attracted 500 delegates from 32 countries as well as 150 tour operators.

PaR nz Golfing Holidays and GTNZ also attended TRENZ, New Zealand’s biggest annual international tourism event that showcased product to more than 320 international travel and tourism buyers from around the world. The Rotorua event attracted 1100 people and Tourism New Zealand recently announced that Rotorua will again host the 2016 TRENZ. With an annual return of $9.3 billion from tourism, golf is becoming a larger component of the sector, generating average visitor stays of more than seven days. 


New Zealand Golf recently published its 2014 annual report while still facing financial challenges, the highlights from last year were noted. These included groundbreaking achievements by Lydia Ko, Mark Brown, and Tae Koh.

Ko became the youngest ever winner of the LPGA Rookie of the Year Award, along with becoming the Halberg Award Supreme winner. Mark Brown attracted global media attention when he shot an impressive 59 at the Tauranga Golf Club in round two of the Carrus Open. Tae Koh won the Australian Amateur Championship, becoming the first New Zealander to do so since Michael Campbell won in 1992.

Other notable wins included Ryan Fox winning the Western Australian Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Daniel Pearce, the Vanuatu Open and Steven Alker the Cleveland Open on the Web.Com Tour in an 11-hole playoff, securing his 2015 tour card for the PGA Tour. Local Charles Tour winners included Doug Holloway, Joshua Geary, Ryan Fox, Mark Brown and Ryan Chisnall. And young James Beale came of age to win the Canadian Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Amateur.


At the time of writing, the New Zealand Women’s team of Julianne Alvarez, Munchin Keh and Wenyung Keh had just finished in third place at the 2015 Queen Sirikit Cup in Hong Kong. Their final score of 437 was 15 places behind Korea on 422, but only one shot behind the Philippines, which finished with 436 points.