RTTNews - Tuesday, New Zealand's Ministry of Tourism said in a report that international visitor arrivals are set to grow by an average 2.5% per annum for the coming seven years, down from a 4% growth estimated last year. The downgrade was driven by global recession and swine flu or Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic.

The number of international visitors are estimated to hit 2.9 million by 2015, up 18.6% or 455,000 from the current level.

Ministry of Tourism Research Manager, Bruce Bassett said, So, while the current forecasts are lower, the overall outlook for tourism remains very positive. Over the balance of 2009, we expect to see a drop of arrivals of around 4.2%, but after that we expect to see growth re-emerging.

Over the forecast period, the strongest markets are Australia and China which are expected to provide two-thirds of the total growth. While, other markets are estimated to generate more modest increase.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com