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International visitor spending shows strong growth

Press Release – Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

The latest International Visitor Survey results released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show spending by international visitors increased seven per cent to $11.1 billion for the year to September 2018.

15 November 2018

The latest International Visitor Survey results released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show spending by international visitors increased seven per cent to $11.1 billion for the year to September 2018.

MBIE’s Manager of Business and Economic Development, Dr Antony Kennedy says “There has been strong growth in international visitor spending with an increase of $650 million compared with the year ended September 2017. China spend contributed to the overall rise, up 14 per cent to $1.63 billion in the year ended September 2018. This coincided with a rise in the number of visitors from China, up 11 per cent over the same period.”

Average spend per visitor also grew, up four per cent.

Visitor spend from Germany showed strong growth, up a statistically significant 16 per cent to $572 million for the year ended September 2018. German average spend was up 17 per cent to $5,900. “A weaker New Zealand dollar against the Euro (down nine per cent over the year) has meant European visitors’ money goes further and they are able to spend more while in New Zealand,” says Dr Kennedy.

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 (e.g. booking accommodation online). The survey only includes expenditure by travellers aged 15+ and excludes individuals who are foreign fee-paying students.

More detail and insight into what’s happening in New Zealand’s tourism sector is available in the Quarterly Tourism Report.

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