Chinese visitors spent a record 979 million NZ dollars (771.96 million U.S. dollars) in New Zealand in the year ending September, according to New Zealand government figures out Friday.
The sum was up 33 percent year on year, and averaged 4,200 NZ dollars (3,307 U.S. dollars) per visitor, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
"The continued growth in the Chinese market is great news for the industry, given the introduction of a new tourism law in China in 2013 that placed restrictions on tourism companies selling low- cost shopping tours to New Zealand and other destinations," MBIE sector performance manager Peter Ellis said in a statement.
China was second on the visitor spending table, behind New Zealand's biggest tourist market, Australia, whose visitors spent a total of 2.02 billion NZ dollars (1.59 billion U.S. dollars).
Significant increases in spending were also recorded by visitors from the United States (up 33 percent) and the United Kingdom (up 23 percent), but spending by visitors from Australia, the country's biggest tourist market, fell by 11 percent.
Overall, the total spend by international visitors rose by 10 percent to 7.2 billion NZ dollars (5.67 billion U.S. dollars).