New Zealand’s appeal as an international holiday destination saw nearly 2 million holidaymakers visit our shores in 2017, up 7.5 percent on the previous year.
The latest data released by Stats NZ shows that 2017 total arrivals were up 6.7 percent with Australia, China and the USA remaining our biggest visitor markets.
“New Zealand continues to punch above its weight internationally as an attractive destination with growth rates that are ahead of global tourism trends,” said tourism chief executive, Stephen England-Hall.
“International visitors are spending around $40 million every day and this is delivering significant benefits to communities across New Zealand.
“Each day international visitors are spending locally as they travel across the country, buying meals and doing things like renting cars, buying petrol, visiting a museum or hiring a bike or skis. This significant local spend is helping communities grow.”
Figures show tourism is also providing significant employment – with one in seven people directly employed in the industry. The tourism sector is one of the country’s biggest employers and for some communities it is essential.
“A whopping 27 percent of employment in the Kaikoura district relies on tourism and tourism spend is now driving a number of community’s economies.”
While New Zealand is nearing the end of the traditional peak season, Tourism New Zealand is continuing to focus on shifting the seasonal profile of arrivals.
“We invest all marketing funds into promoting New Zealand holidays in the shoulder and off-peak season. We are thrilled to see this working with a combined 13.1 percent increase in spring 2016 and autumn 2017 arrivals against peak summer growth of 8.3 percent.”
Data shows that international visitors are also continuing to rate New Zealand very highly as a destination, with 94 percent saying their trip met or exceeded expectations.
“A huge part of that great experience comes down to Kiwi hospitality, manaakitanga – the reputation we have as a warm and welcoming country. Something that is only possible with the continued support of New Zealanders.
“It’s also very reliant on the industry continuing to provide a fantastic experience and one of the ways we assist with this is by sharing a range of consumer insights to help them meet the needs of visiting and grow their business.”