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Tourist Spending Slows

Media Statement
Tourist Spending Slows
Wednesday 19 November 2008 – For immediate release

Spending by international visitors remained at $6.0 billion in the year to September 2008 according to data released by the Ministry of Tourism today.

“We aren’t seeing the growth we are used to. While overall spending by international visitors is stable for the year, it is clear that the global financial crisis is starting to have an effect,” said Bruce Bassett, Ministry of Tourism Research Manager.

Mr Bassett said that as arrival numbers softened and economic concerns grew, it was natural that tourism receipts would also be affected.

“Tourism is a discretionary activity, and it is our sense that our customers around the world are being careful in their travel decisions in the current environment."

“While the indicators aren’t favourable for tourism just now, we do know that tourism is an extremely resilient industry and history shows that it recovers well. What we don’t know at this stage is the depth or duration of the current downturn, and consequently when this recovery will occur."

Spending levels by key markets increased for visitors from Australia (up 7.5% to $1.7b), the UK (up 4.1% to $970m), Japan (up 0.8% to $407m), Canada (up 1.9% to $122m) and Singapore (up 9.5% to $65m).

Decreases in spend were recorded for visitors from the US (down 15.8% to $590m), Germany (down 3.2% to $242m), China (down 10.4% to $241m), South Korea (down 1.8% to $235m) and Taiwan (down 23% to $53m).

For further information on the release of International Visitor Survey data please visit the Ministry of Tourism research website (


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