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Tourism boosts New Zealand economy by $4.5B

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Staff Reporter

10 June 2024, 6:34 PM

Tourism boosts New Zealand economy by $4.5B

Visitors contributed $4.5 billion to New Zealand's economy between January and March 2024, according to new data from the International Visitor Survey.

This represents a 34% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager International, Angela Blair, highlighted the positive impact of the tourism sector, noting, “It’s great to see visitors contributing so strongly to our economy in the first three months of the year. The spend figures are in line with a positive summer season reported by industry.”

Blair also emphasised the organisation’s focus on promoting off-peak tourism to ensure sustainable growth.

“We’ve set an ambitious target of growing international tourism by $5 billion over the next four years, with 70% ($3.5 billion) of that coming from visitors in the off-peak. We look forward to working in partnership with industry to achieve this,” she said.

The survey revealed that the top three markets by spend between January and March 2024 were Australia ($558 million), China ($490 million), and the USA ($471 million).

Notably, visitors from the USA had the highest daily expenditure at $349 per day.

New Zealand’s scenic landscapes and natural attractions remain the primary draw for tourists, with 76% of holiday visitors motivated by the country’s scenery.

Additionally, 84% of holiday visitors engaged in walking, trekking, or tramping, and 75% visited natural attractions such as lakes, rivers, or forests.

There was also a notable increase in regional tourism, with 40% of holiday visitors exploring four or more regions, a 13% rise from the previous quarter.

“It’s encouraging to see visitors are experiencing more regions during their visit, helping to spread their economic contribution across the country and supporting multiple communities,” Blair remarked.

The survey further indicated a strong interest in Māori culture, with 90.6% of visitors reporting an improved understanding of Māori traditions after their visit.

Satisfaction levels were high, with 95.8% of visitors stating that New Zealand met or exceeded their expectations.

Blair concluded, “It’s wonderful to see destination New Zealand is providing an exceptional experience for visitors, and that’s a real credit to the industry.”