30 Mar 2011

Post-quake shock for tourism sector 'will be short'

8:45 pm on 30 March 2011

The tourism sector is expected to suffer a short, sharp shock as fewer visitors come to New Zealand because of the earthquakes in Japan and Christchurch.

Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin has issued a downbeat forecast for the tourism sector, saying visitor numbers will fall by 10% in the second quarter - a decline similar to that experienced after 9/11 and the outbreak of SARS.

Mr Borkin expects Japanese arrivals to fall by 40%, but says the decline in visitor numbers will be short-lived.

"The common theme when you look at other major disasters and their impact on the tourism sector," he says, "is that while they can have quite a sharp negative impact in the near term, typically it only lasts for a little while."