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International visitor spending shows significant growth

Press Release – Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

Spending by international visitors in New Zealand increased nine per cent to $11.1 billion for the year to June 2018, according to the latest International Visitor Survey results released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment …17 August 2018

Spending by international visitors in New Zealand increased nine per cent to $11.1 billion for the year to June 2018, according to the latest International Visitor Survey results released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

MBIE’s manager of Sector Trends Mark Gordon says there has been significant growth in international visitor spending, with an increase of $879 million compared with the year ended June 2017. China and the United States have contributed to this increase with both markets growing 11 per cent to $1.66 billion and $1.29 billion respectively for the year ending June 2018.

“The number of visitors from China has increased by 13 per cent, while the average spending per visitor was down slightly. However, spending from the US market was boosted both by increasing visitor numbers and an increase in the average spend per visitor, up seven per cent.

“Of New Zealand’s major tourism markets, Japan is the only one that showed a fall in spending, down 12 per cent. We have seen a decrease in spending by visitors arriving on package deals. Overall Japanese visitors are spending less when they are here with average spending per visitor falling 11 per cent.” says Mark Gordon.

However, there has also been growth in a number of emerging Asian markets. The number of visitors arriving from India, Taiwan, The Philippines and Indonesia in the year to June 2018 has increased and has contributed to a 21 per cent increase in spending for the Rest of Asia group.

Visitors have benefited from favourable exchange rates. A weaker New Zealand dollar has meant that visitors’ money goes further and they are able to spend more while in New Zealand.

While the increase in total visitor spending was statistically significant, movements in spending for each individual market were still within the margins of error.

The International Visitor Survey asks visitors to report on all of their spending, excluding international airfares. This includes all types of spending including cash, cards, tour packages and any spending before they arrived in New Zealand (eg booking accommodation online). The survey only includes expenditure by travellers aged 15+ and excludes individuals who are foreign-fee paying students.

ENDS

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