WELLINGTON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand had a record number of overseas visitors last month thank to the Chinese New Year holiday, the government statistics agency announced Thursday.
The number of visitors last month was up 12 percent year on year to 292,400, the highest ever for a January month, according to Statistics New Zealand.
"New Zealand saw more visitors arrive from China and Hong Kong this month, compared with January 2013, due to the earlier timing of Chinese New Year," population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said in a statement.
"Chinese New Year is a popular time for travel to New Zealand, and it fell at the end of January, whereas last year it fell mid- February."
In the year to the end of January, visitor arrivals reached 2. 75 million, up 7 percent from the January 2013 year.
Holiday arrivals from the Chinese mainland last month were up 73.3 percent year on year, according to Tourism New Zealand, the government tourism body.
At the same time, holiday arrivals from Hong Kong were up 159.2 percent, from Singapore up 126.3 percent and Malaysia up 104.2 percent.
"Comparatively, we expect to see China arrivals down during February when we compare against last year's Chinese New Year period," Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said in a statement.