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Domestic tourism spending numbers in for January

Domestic tourism electronic card transaction spend was at the highest level since 2008 (when the TECTs began) in January 2021, up 24 per cent on the same month the previous year.

This is in stark contrast to other TECT spend (which includes spend on international cards) which fell 82 per cent.

The large rise is January ensured annual domestic TECT spend remained at the same level for the year ending January 2021 compared with the previous year (0 per cent change). Other TECT spend fell 60 per cent.

COVID-19 started to impact tourism in New Zealand around February 2020. As the most up-to-date figures are only available to January 2021, we expect the annual year-on-year percentage changes to keep falling until we have 12 months’ worth of data following the closure of borders around the world. This will be most pronounced over the summer months – usually the high season for international tourism in New Zealand – and is likely be seen most clearly in regions and products more reliant on the international market.

Every region in New Zealand saw double digit growth in domestic TECT spend in January 2021. The highest growth in domestic spend was in the West Coast, up 47 per cent on the same month the previous year. This was followed by Tasman (up 43 per cent), Marlborough (up 41 per cent) and Otago (up 39 per cent). However every region also fell at least 65 per cent in other TECT spend in January 2021.

The West Coast also saw the highest domestic TECT spend over the year to January 2021, up 17 per cent compared with the previous year. This was followed by Otago (up 15 per cent), Tasman (up 12 per cent) and Northland (up 11 per cent). Auckland had the largest fall in domestic TECT spend, down 17 per cent. Other TECT spend fell in all regions at least 39 per cent for the year to January 2021.

In the latest release, Activate Tairāwhiti has been renamed as Trust Tairāwhiti and Aoraki Tourism has been renamed as Venture Timaru.

The current release showed that total New Zealand TECT spend was just under half of what was previously published as part of the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates, due to electronic card transactions only making up part of all tourism spend.

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