7 Dec 2018

Tourism spending hits new record

3:38 pm on 7 December 2018

Tourism spending in New Zealand has reached a record $39.1 billion.

Auckland Airport arrivals

Auckland Airport arrivals Photo: 123RF

Stats NZ released its tourism satellite figures for the year ending in March on Friday.

It showed a 7.7 percent increase in tourism spending from the previous year.

The official figure is above the initial estimates given to the industry at the Tourism Summit Aotearoa last month, which valued the industry at $38b.

That included $16b international spending and $22b of domestic visitor spending.

The latest figures show domestic visitor spending surged to $23b in the last year, a boost of $1.4b from the previous year.

A 9.6 percent rise in international tourist spending meant the sector hit $16.2b.

Stats NZ national accounts senior manager Susan Hollows said the boost in domestic visitor spending was linked to strong increases across the accommodation, hospitality, passenger transport, and retail sectors.

"Continued strength in visitor numbers across key international markets, on the back of additional airline and cruise capacity, lifted spending by international tourists," Mrs Hollows said.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa communications manager Ann-Marie Johnson said it was a continuation of spectacular growth enjoyed in recent years.

"These figures reinforce our insight that tourism will continue to grow and sustain employment across our country. It means that a career in tourism is a viable and stable choice for young people, which is an area of particular importance to the industry," Ms Johnson said.

The annual tourism spend figures showed an extra $29 million dollars a day was being spent in communities across New Zealand compared to 2014 spending data, she said.

"Prioritising the sustainability of the tourism industry ensures we can manage and grow our contribution to New Zealand's economy whilst offering more benefits and opportunities to the communities in which we operate," Ms Johnson said.