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Visitors to NZ spend a record $6.6 billion

6 September, 2006

Visitors to New Zealand spend a record $6.6 billion

Spending by international visitors to New Zealand has increased to a record $6.6 billion in the year to March 2006, up 8.2% on the previous year, Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

“This is the highest recorded spending figure in New Zealand by international visitors and is great news for the industry.

"Coming hot on the heels of a poll by 30,000 readers of prestigious Condé Nast Traveller (UK) magazine showing New Zealand is the second-best country in the world, behind Italy, this really is a great result for New Zealand."

The growth in spending came from the major markets of Australia (up 8.8% to $1.5 billion), the United Kingdom (up 18.5% to $1.1 billion) and the USA (up 5.6% to $649 million).

Major markets that declined were Japan (down 13.1% to $496 million), China (down 39.5% to $244 million) and Germany (down 4.9% to $207 million).

Mr O'Connor said the increased spending within key markets was encouraging and likely to be buoyed by the relative affordability of the New Zealand dollar during the period.

The drop in spending from Chinese visitors showed that more research was required into how to get the best out of what is a very exciting new market for New Zealand going forward, Mr O'Connor said.

“Overall, the New Zealand tourism industry is in a healthy state and the record spending figure is testament to that. The challenge for the industry lies in maintaining growth in visitor spend by continuing to position New Zealand as a quality destination.”

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



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