Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
New Zealand is a popular destination for many travelers around the world, but one country in particular recently showed a highly increased interest in the South Pacific island. Last year alone, Chinese tourists exceeded 200,000 for the first time, spending $500 million dollars and solidifying the country as the second largest source of tourism following Australia. Statistics New Zealand's report revealed a 2.2 percent increase ($213 million) in the year ending March 2013, with partial attribution given to China’s vacationers. "This reflects both the increasing value of the Chinese market and the ongoing change in the composition of our traditional visitor markets," Peter Gardiner, spokesman for Statistics New Zealand said. Several high-profile events—including the premieres of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films—aided in the growth of NZ travel and employment of nearly 111,000 full-time workers within the tourism industry itself.