In 2016, New Zealand residents made 2.6 million short-term trips overseas – double the number in 2000, but less than a tenth of the number of overnight trips residents made within NZ.
Inbound visitors spent $14.5 billion in 2016 however Kiwis travelling around Aotearoa spent about 40 percent more during the same period, at $20.2 billion.
Competitive airfares, new tourism attractions and activities, and big budget cinematic creations have all contributed to the growing success of New Zealand’s tourism industry taking it to the top of the economic food chain in the country.
The information gathered through the AA Traveller Monitor (a program which attracts nearly 40,000 responses every year) enables better understanding of domestic travel and how the tourism industry can develop in order to reach its goal of $41 billion revenue by 2025.
AA Travel and Tourism general manager Grant Lilly said:
“Domestic travel provides the tourism industry’s foundation, but it doesn’t get as much attention because it’s not bringing in export dollars. However, what it does do is contribute hugely to the viability and bottom line of all businesses involved in hospitality, accommodation and leisure activities along with all the employment opportunities it provides.”
“In short, domestic travel is extremely important to New Zealand’s economy.”
About 46% of all domestic overnight trips are made to visit friends or family, while a further 35% are generated by holidaymakers. Mr Lilly says part of the solution is to encourage Kiwis to head out during the three seasons it’s not summer.
The AA Traveller Monitor also shows significant seasonal variation of visitor nights in all the holiday hotspots. Significant variability between the busiest and quietest months is true for most regions, although Wellington is the least impacted by the phenomenon, likely because of a higher share of business-related travel throughout the year.