WELLINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese visitors buoyed up a flat New Zealand tourism market as they increased their spending in the country by 24 percent in the year to the end of June, according to government figures out Tuesday.
Total visitor spending remained constant at 5.49 billion NZ dollars (4.39 billion U.S. dollars), but the rise in Chinese visitor spending offset a large fall in spending and visitor numbers from the United Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
A record 223 million Chinese visited New Zealand in the year to the end of June, spending a total of 645 million NZ dollars, according to the ministry's International Visitor Survey.
Australia continued to be New Zealand's largest tourism market, with Australian residents spending 1.6 billion NZ dollars in the same period.
The latest survey results show the decline in international visitor spending slowing, following a 2-percent fall in the year to the end of March and a 6-percent drop in the year to the end of December 2012.