Australian tourist, who died in hospital, was struck by a car while travelling in New Zealand’s Easter Island region, an official said on Sunday.

    Oscar Moll, 42, was on a guided trip to Easter Island with his family, said John Goggin, the head of tourism in the country.

    The accident occurred at around 9.30am local time, when Moll was crossing a road in the town of Manawatu when a vehicle hit him head-on, according to police.

    The driver of the car then drove away, police said.

    The official, who asked not to be named, said police were trying to identify the car’s occupants.

    Moll’s body was found on Sunday evening at the local hospital, with his head badly smashed.

    He had been taken to the University of New Zealand, where he was listed in critical condition.

    Mol had been on a three-month guided trip on Easter Island, visiting the island’s remote beaches, and his parents said he would continue to visit the island.

    “He was a wonderful man and his family will miss him greatly,” his mother, Susan, told The New Zealand Herald.

    “I am very proud of him for doing such a great job with the island.”

    The incident comes at a time when tourists are increasingly taking a more relaxed approach to their holiday destinations in Australia, as the government grapples with a raft of budget cuts and a series of major earthquakes in the area.

    Tourism has soared to more than $8 billion (£6.8 billion) a year in New York and New Zealand but the island has struggled to attract tourists amid high unemployment.

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