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International visitor spend up 8.2%

Media Statement

International visitor spend up 8.2% to $6.6 billion

6 Sept 2006 11:00am

International visitor spending in New Zealand increased to $6.6 billion in the year to March 2006, up 8.2% on the previous year, according to data just released by the Ministry of Tourism.

“This high level of spending by international visitors in New Zealand represents a very positive result for the tourism industry given that international arrivals had actually dropped slightly over the same period,” said Bruce Bassett, Ministry of Tourism Research Manager.

The result includes the 2005 Lion’s Tour which clearly had a positive impact on the spending by the United Kingdom market, that increased by 18.5% to $1.1 billion – a gain of $172 million. Highlights of key markets: - Australia - up 8.8% to $1.5b 􀂃 USA - up 5.6% to $649m Japan - down 13.1% to $496m - China - down 39.5% to $244m
- Germany down 4.9% to $207m

Strong growth came from those on Holiday (up 8.3% to $3.5 billion) and those Visiting Friends and Relatives (up 9.8% to $1.2 billion). Business travel declined slightly (0.2%) to $798 million and Education declined by 24% to $472 million.

“This means that the all-important “leisure” travel component of the tourism industry has performed well in spending terms over the last year. As the lower exchange rate takes effect and as the Education sector stabilises, the outlook is positive, although a challenge for the industry will be to maintain growth in spending beyond the effects of the Lion’s Tour,” said Mr Bassett.

ENDS

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