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Global tourism to beaches and parks approaching pre-pandemic levels

Heading: Increase in International Visitors to New Zealand’s National Parks and Beaches Pre-Covid Levels

Tongariro National Park Among Top Destinations as International Visitors Return to New Zealand’s Public Conservation Land

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) has reported a significant increase in international visitors to the country’s popular national parks and beaches, with numbers returning to pre-Covid levels. The latest report for the 2023/2024 peak summer season revealed that tourists were once again flocking to public conservation land, much to the delight of DOC officials.

Cat Wilson, DOC’s director of heritage and visitors, expressed excitement over the rise in international tourists, stating, “We are excited more international visitors are coming to see us again. The upwards trend shows we are on our way to pre-Covid international visitor numbers, which is great news for the New Zealand economy and tourism operators.”

The report indicated that in December 2023, 79 percent of the 528,000 people who arrived in the country in December 2019 before the pandemic were international tourists. The top sources of international visitors were Australia (40 percent), the United States (13 percent), the United Kingdom (7 percent), and China (5 percent).

Among the most popular destinations were the beaches and national parks in Fiordland, Aoraki / Mount Cook, and Tongariro National Park. Additionally, locals were also drawn to urban areas like Auckland’s Long Bay Beach and Rangitoto Island. Short walks remained the most popular activity for New Zealanders, with warmer temperatures contributing to the trend.

Wilson highlighted the importance of exploring New Zealand’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, stating, “It’s great to see both nature and our rich cultural heritage continue to excite and draw people, and we hope Kiwis and visitors alike continue to explore New Zealand’s incredible places.”

As international visitors return to New Zealand’s public conservation land, the tourism industry is poised for a strong recovery, benefiting the economy and local businesses. With the country’s stunning landscapes and diverse attractions attracting visitors from across the globe, the future looks bright for New Zealand’s tourism sector.

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