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Kiwis spending more on travel within New Zealand

25 January 2008 Media Statement

Kiwis spending more on travel within New Zealand

Survey data released today shows Kiwis are spending $8 billion a year through domestic travel, up nearly $1 billion from the year before, said Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor.

The Domestic Travel Survey, run by the Ministry of Tourism, shows that in the year to September 2007 the amount Kiwis are spending on domestic travel has increased by 10.4 percent on the previous year.

Mr O’Connor said the increased spending is good news for local businesses and the New Zealand economy.

“It is great to see domestic travel spend up by such a significant amount. Kiwis are pumping more and more money each year into our economy by getting out and exploring their own country.

“With tourism contributing nine percent of GDP, it is a priority sector for government attention and the increase in domestic spend is good news for the New Zealand economy.

“We tend to focus a lot on international travellers to New Zealand and how much they are contributing to our economy, but without domestic tourism the industry wouldn’t survive.

“The robustness of the domestic travel industry is vitally important to the health of our tourism industry overall. As the backbone of the industry it supports tourism through times of variation in our international markets,” said Mr O’Connor.

The survey also shows that day trip expenditure through domestic travel increased by 10.3 percent to $2.8 billion and the number of day trips increasing by 2.5 percent to $29.4 million.

Spending on overnight trips increased by 10.5 percent to $5.2 billion, with the number of overnight trips increasing by 7.4 percent to 15.5 million.

Mr O’Connor said the AA’s high-profile 101 Must-Dos for Kiwis campaign reminds Kiwis of New Zealand’s qualities and encourages them to explore areas they may not have visited before.

The Domestic Travel Survey from which the data originates is a telephone survey of 15,000 New Zealand residents undertaken throughout the year. A range of data and reports from the survey are available at www.tourismresearch.govt.nz

ENDS

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