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MBIE findings from latest quarterly tourism report



The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released their quarterly tourism report on Wednesday night, presenting the national content for tourism in the year ending March 2019.

Key insights from the report include International visitor spend grew slightly faster than visitor numbers, with spending by international visitors growing three per cent to $11.2 billion and equating to an overall increase of $342 million over the one year.

In the same period, international visitor numbers increased by one per cent for 3.9 million. Spend grew slightly faster than visitor numbers, due to a two per cent increase in average spend per visitor, the report found.

The report suggested that one reason for this overall spend increase could be because of the fall of the New Zealand dollar against many of New Zealand’s major tourism markets over the year. This fall increased the purchasing power of visitors.

After adjusting for seasonal impacts, the report found that international visitor spend remained unchanged for the March 2019 quarter, when compared with the December 2018 quarter.

Across measured commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers and holiday parks, there were 40.2 million guest nights – up one per cent from the previous year – and includes both domestic (up 2.1 per cent) and international visitors (down 1.2 per cent).

Backpackers were the leading contributor in the fall in international visitor numbers, followed by motels and then holiday parks. These findings did not include hosted accommodation such as peer-to-peer accommodation, guest nights in holiday homes or people staying with family or friends.

MBIE also presented a piece of research about higher-spending visitors in the International Visitor Survey.

This research found that spend from Australian visitors was up two per cent, while the Chinese spend fell two per cent. Spend from UK visitors was down 13 per cent, due to a 10 per cent fall in arrivals and an 8 per cent fall in average spend.

Even though spend increased $343 million in the year ended March 2019 overall, the report said spend outside the top six markets increased by $504 million. Spend by other Asia countries (excluding China, Korea and Japan) made up a large proportion of this increase, up 15 per cent in the year to $1.3 billion.

Other Asia countries also continue to be a major source of growth for international visitors. While other Asian countries’ visitor numbers remain smaller than our main tourism markets, there has been considerable growth over the year. For example, visitors from India grew 8 per cent to 68,000, Taiwan grew 27 per cent to 48,000, the Philippines grew 10 per cent to 28,000 and Indonesia grew 9 per cent to 26,000.

The full report is available on the MBIE website.

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