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NZ tourism spending forecast to increase 25% by 2020: MBIE

NZ tourism spending forecast to increase 25% by 2020, MBIE says

By Tina Morrison

Sept. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Tourism spending in New Zealand will likely increase 25 percent to an annual $8.3 billion by 2020, driven by an increased number of visitors, according to a report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Visitor numbers are forecast to grow 31 percent to 3.6 million by 2020, although the average stay is expected to slide by 1 percent to 19 days and average spending per day will fall 4 percent to $124, according to the ministry's New Zealand Tourism Sector Outlook 2014-2020.

Tourism accounts for about 9 percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product, according to the nation's Tourism Industry Association. Most of the growth in visitors through 2020 is forecast to come from Australia, the country's largest source of visitors where kiwis have strong links to friends and family, and China, the second-largest visitor market where a growing middle class is driving travel demand.

"The most important driver of visitors to New Zealand is economic growth in the home country. While the short-term outlook shows risks from some emerging markets that are not yet fully developed markets, long-term structural forces - globalisation, industrialisation and urbanisation - shape a positive outlook for New Zealand," according to the outlook report. "New young and rich people in the region will soon demand luxury products. New Zealand tourism operators need to be ready."

In 2013, the number of international visitor arrivals rose 6.1 percent 2.7 million, helping lift total spending 5.2 percent to $6.7 billion, the report said. Still, the average daily spend per visitor slipped 1.5 percent to $128 as a higher New Zealand dollar made local products seem expensive.


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