WELLINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The number of overseas visitors to New Zealand last month hit 196,900, the highest ever for a July month, driven by holiday-makers from Indonesia, Australia and China, the government statistics agency announced Thursday.
The figure surpassed the previous July high of 183,700 last year, Statistics New Zealand population statistics project manager Susan Hollows said in a statement.
In the year to the end of July, visitor arrivals numbered 2.8 million, up 6 percent from the July 2013 year, and the top four sources of visitors were Australia, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Total visitor arrivals from China were up 7.8 percent in the year ending July to 243,472.
"We are continuing to see a positive change in the visitor mix from China, with most of the growth coming from independent travellers, rather than short stay group tours, which is an encouraging trend," said Kevin Bowler, chief executive of the government's Tourism New Zealand agency.
This was supported by an increase in the length of stay, with Chinese visitors staying almost a day and a half longer than they did last year, lifting average stay to 8.5 days compared to 7.1 days in July 2013, Bowler said in a statement.
Strong growth was seen across Asian markets with visitors from Singapore up 18.4 per cent, Malaysia up 20.9 percent, Indonesia up 39.4 percent and India up 14.3 percent for the year.