WELLINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Growth in the number of Chinese visitors to New Zealand over the Chinese New Year holiday this year is expected to level off, the government's Tourism New Zealand agency said Tuesday.
This year the number of Chinese New Year holidaymakers was expected to be about the same as last year, with around 30,000 arriving over the two weeks, said Tourism New Zealand general manager Asia David Craig.
"New Zealand experienced rapid growth in recent years of up to 40 percent so a slowdown in growth can be expected," Craig said in a statement.
Fewer Chinese tour groups were coming, but the number of free independent travelers was increasing.
"There are still likely to be 27,000 to 33,000 visitors for the two weeks of Chinese New Year, providing great opportunities for tourism operators," said Craig.
"Chinese New Year, and the weeks around it, will continue to be a key travel period for the Chinese, especially families, much as Christmas is an immovable family time for Westerners, so operators can look forward to a busy fortnight for the foreseeable future."