Holiday arrivals for the year ending December 2013 were up 9.8 percent. December also recorded the highest number of arrivals in any month.

Tourism New Zealand estimates the extra 114,112 holidaymakers last year from abroad spent NZ$365 million.

“Throughout the year our traditional long staying markets, and biggest visitor market Australia, have performed particularly strongly, driving this growth in holiday arrivals,” said Kevin Bowler, chief executive Tourism New Zealand.

Growth for the year was driven by traditional long-stay markets and the biggest source of tourists – Australia.

Arrivals from the U.S. were up 21.3 percent, Canada up 7.7 percent and Germany up 9.4 percent, for the 2013 calendar year.

“This continued growth is extremely positive, with Germany showing a great resurgence. Furthermore, the stabilisation of the UK market continues ahead of our projections, with holiday arrivals up 9.9 percent for the month and 5.7 percent for 2013,” Mr Bowler said.

Total arrivals from China were up 16.2 percent for the year, however, monthly arrivals continued to show the impact of the China Travel Law, down 10.6 percent.

“What is becoming clear is how the new China Travel Law is supporting our strategy to accelerate the trend towards higher quality itineraries with better experiences, to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand. We are already seeing an increase in visitors travelling more widely – with expenditure in the South Island increasing 72 percent from October to December compared to the same period in 2012,” Bowler added.

Image credit: Getty