WELLINGTON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Rising numbers of tourists from China and Australia pushed the number of visitors to New Zealand up 9 percent year on year last month to a record for a May month, the government statistics agency announced Monday.
"The latest visitor number was easily the highest ever for a May month," Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said in a statement.
"Arrival figures jumped to 153,000, after sitting at around 141, 000 for the last six May months."
The increase was mainly due to more visitors from Australia (up 8,000) and China (up 3,900).
Visitor arrivals from China had doubled in the past two years, from 8,600 in May 2011 to 16,800 in May this year, said a commentary.
Twenty years ago, in May 1993, visitors from China numbered only 300.
In the year ended May, New Zealand had 2.628 million visitors, up less than 1 percent from the previous year.
Tourism New Zealand said the monthly increase in arrivals translated to an extra 224,480 stay days for May.
"When we look at the first five months of 2013 we see a considerable upwards shift in arrivals, with total arrivals up 5. 8 percent against the same period last year and holiday arrivals up 9.4 percent," Tourism New Zealand acting chief executive Justin Watson said in a statement.