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Tourism Expenditure Estimated At $11.5 Billion

Tourism Satellite Account: Year ended March 1997

The importance of tourism to the New Zealand economy is verified in a forthcoming report by Statistics New Zealand. The report, Tourism Satellite Account 1997, shows that in the year ended March 1997 tourists spent $11.5 billion in New Zealand. This total includes spending by overseas visitors and domestic household and business travellers. Tourism Satellite Account 1997 was funded by the Office of Tourism and Sport under the auspices of the Tourism Research Council of New Zealand.

Other key results from the report include:

The $11.5 billion spent by tourists in 1997 in turn generated a direct contribution of $4.2 billion, or 4.7 per cent, to New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product in 1997. This represents the value added by those engaged in providing goods and services purchased by tourists. This can be compared with the direct contribution to GDP of agriculture of 5.9 per cent, construction of 4.5 per cent and communications of 3.5 per cent.

If indirect flow-on effects are included, a further $4.2 billion contribution to GDP was generated by industries supporting tourism. These flow-on effects occur when suppliers of tourism services such as transport, accommodation and restaurant meals purchase goods and services from their suppliers (for example, purchases of fuel, electricity, meat and vegetables). The total direct and indirect contribution of tourism to Gross Domestic Product in 1997 was $8.3 billion, or 9.3 per cent.

An estimated 86,000 full-time equivalent employees were directly engaged in producing goods and services consumed by tourists. Another 63,000 full-time equivalent persons were estimated to be indirectly engaged in supporting tourism. In total 149,000 full-time equivalent employees were directly or indirectly engaged in tourism.

Tourists paid $0.9 billion in GST on their purchases.

A tourism satellite account was published in June 1999 for the year ended March 1995. Due to a lack of up-to-date industry data and information on spending by New Zealanders on domestic travel, the 1995 account was tagged as "experimental". The completion of the 1996 inter-industry study and the undertaking of a New Zealand domestic travel survey have helped address these gaps.

The 1995 account reported total tourism spending of $9.1 billion and a total GDP contribution of 8.0 per cent. However, comparing these and other figures from the 1995 account with the 1997 data should be undertaken with caution, due to some changes in methods and the improvements in data sources made in the last two years.

Tourism Satellite Account 1997 provides an official measure of the impact of tourism on the New Zealand economy. The tourism sector is not identified in official industry statistics as it cuts across conventional industry boundaries. The satellite account identifies what proportion of an industry's sales are made to tourists, regroups this information into a "tourism industry", and allows key tourism economic measures to be calculated. These measures provide the yardstick against which the performance of the industry can be assessed and also permit comparisons to be made with other industries. The satellite account also provides a framework for bringing together data about the industry from different sources.

The methodology used in Tourism Satellite Account 1997 follows international guidelines developed by the World Tourism Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Work is underway to update the figures for the years 1998 to 2000.

The Tourism Satellite Account 1997 report containing all tables and a full description of concepts and methodology will be published on 17 May 2001.



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