Tourists at New Zealand ski resort

New Zealand’s Visitor Spend Outpacing Arrival Numbers

The amount visitors spend in New Zealand each year is growing at 1.5 times the rate of total visitor arrival numbers, according to the latest International Visitor Survey released by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Total annual spend was up 6 percent in 2018, totaling $11.2 billion of international visitor spend. Holiday visitors contribute $7 billion of this spend.

“Tourism New Zealand is committed to making New Zealand a better place for Kiwis through increasing the contribution that international visitors make, and part of this is influencing the type of visitor who chooses New Zealand,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall.

“Some places in New Zealand are feeling the pressures of tourism growth, it’s great to see our value over volume strategy is resulting in more visitors who are giving back to the country through significant spend in our regions.”

“Targeting high-value visitors who will spend across multiple regions in New Zealand in the off-peak seasons helps to spread the benefits of tourism across the country and throughout the year.”

“This means more opportunities for businesses, local investment and employment as well as improved productivity.”

Visitor spend extends outside of the tourism industry to local businesses, services and products, as well as food and wine across the country.

Nelson clay artist, Katie Gold says that international tourism has allowed her to make a career out of her passion.

“Tourism is essential for our business, emotionally, spiritually – everything – because my business is about representing New Zealand in my work. Tourism is the only way that I can actually do that as a job,” says Ms. Gold.

“Tours will come out and bring people as a destination. And because of that other businesses have set up in the area as well – It’s become a hub of other artisans. And that’s really helped the community.”

“We’re just so grateful to be able to do what we love and sell it to people who are passing through our part of the world.”

Each year, international visitors spent over $3 billion on retail items. Fuel and grocery spend is additional.

“There is often a brand halo effect from global consumers who have visited New Zealand or are actively considering us for their next holiday,” says Mr. England-Hall.

“They are also more likely to have affinity for our culture and values and awareness of our export products. This halo effect on product preference benefits many exporting nations and New Zealand is no exception.”
Source: Tourism New Zealand

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