Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/29/2012 -- New Zealand, which consists of two main islands - the North and the South - and a number of smaller islands, is known for its natural beauty, culture, rugby and eco-tourism. The country's marketing slogan, '100% Pure New Zealand', has been in use for over 10 years. In the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015, the Pure New Zealand campaign promotes responsible tourism and refers to the Maori concept of kaitiakitanga, which means guardianship, care or protection in relation to the environment. There are a number of tourism businesses focusing on nature and green initiatives to protect the natural environment in New Zealand. More than 10% of New Zealand has been awarded World Heritage status by the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO). The three main sites are Tongariro National Park; Te Wahipounamu, which contains four national parks; and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.
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The number of arrivals coming to New Zealand has been climbing steadily since 2001, apart from in 2008 and 2009 when there was no growth due to the global financial crisis and recession. In 2012, 2.68mn arrivals are forecast to visit the country, which should grow by an average 3% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 3.08mn in 2016. Given the fact that New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, the most popular way to travel to the country is by air. In 2012, 2.65mn of the forecast arrivals are expected to travel by plane, compared to just 28,000 arriving by sea.
Tourism is a relatively large contributor to New Zealand's GDP compared to other countries. After peaking at 8.6% in 2009 and then falling to 6.8% in 2011, it is expected to start increasing in 2012, hitting 7.3%. From that point tourism expenditure's contribution to GDP will grow steadily throughout the forecast period to reach 8.3% in 2014-2016. For comparison, tourism in the UK is forecast to contribute about 2.0% to the GDP in 2012.
The main regional source market for New Zealand tourism is the Asia Pacific region. In 2012, 1.74mn tourists from the region are forecast to visit New Zealand, and this is expected to grow to 1.93mn by the end of the forecast period. The number of New Zealanders travelling abroad is also forecast to rise through to 2016. Unsurprisingly, given its proximity, the majority of residents travel to the Asia Pacific region, mainly to Australia and Fiji. In second and third place are Europe and North America, with the UK and US the most popular destinations in those regions.
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