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Overseas visitors vote with their wallets

Hon Paula Bennett

Associate Minister of Tourism

25 November 2015 Media Statement
Overseas visitors vote with their wallets

New tourism figures out today show overseas visitors are voting with their wallets and endorsing New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class destination, Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says.

International visitor spending has increased by 38 per cent to $9.4 billion in the year to September according to the latest International Visitor Survey.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in tourism in New Zealand,” Mrs Bennett says.

“People want unique and varied experiences, from our stunning natural environment right through to up-close encounters with the film industry. Today’s figures confirm New Zealand’s appeal as a premier destination for international travellers continues to grow.

“I am particularly pleased to see that the spending increase can be mainly attributed to an increased in per visitor expenditure – up 26 per cent – which has been a key goal for the sector.”

Major tourism markets drove most of the growth, with China up an estimated 78 per cent, the United States of America up 55 per cent, and the United Kingdom up an estimated 43 per cent.

Tourism now represents 17.4 per cent of our total exports, up from 15 per cent, and is our second largest export. Tourism is worth $10.6 billion, or nearly 5% of our GDP, and one in every 8 jobs is now directly or indirectly related to tourism.

The growth in tourism, along with success in other exports industries such as international education, ICT, wool and wine, is contributing to New Zealand’s increasingly diverse and growing economy.

“New Zealand has already celebrated a record three million visitors this year, and the Government remains committed to backing further sustainable growth in the sector,” says Mrs Bennett.

Results of the International Visitor Survey from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are available here:

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