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Tourists Spend $2.2b on Visa Cards in NZ

Major Report Highlights Importance of Visa Transactions to NZ Tourist Industry

A new report from Visa International shows that international tourists spent more than $2.2 billion in New Zealand during 2003 on their Visa Cards - nearly 30 percent of all tourist purchases for the year.

The report, 'Recent trends in spending by Visitors to New Zealand', shows that tourists made 13.1 million Visa card transactions and the majority were from outside the Asia Pacific region.

"Tourism is New Zealand's biggest export earner and one of our largest employers. The opportunities it offers this country for continued economic growth are immense, but it is growth that needs careful management and well targeted investment," says Iain Jamieson, Visa International's New Zealand Country Manager.

Like all business segments facing key choices in how to build for future prosperity and manage precious resources appropriately, a flow of quality market intelligence is vital.

This is where Visa, with more than one billion cardholders worldwide, can offer the New Zealand tourism industry and government a valuable insight into how inbound visitors to this country spend their holiday and business travel budgets.

"This first country report for New Zealand from Visa International adds a new dimension to our tourism knowledge base. It summarises what we know about spending on Visa by inbound visitors to New Zealand and compares this to spending habits by inbound visitors across the Asia Pacific region," says Iain Jamieson.

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For example, the report shows that the biggest Visa spenders in New Zealand during 2003 came from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Together these five accounted for 71 percent of the total spend.

"This report highlights the value of electronic payments in stimulating tourist spending. The growing importance of credit cards to tourists is amply illustrated by the fact that the number of transactions made by international Visa cardholders in New Zealand has increased by 96 percent since 1999." The largest categories of the 2.2 billion spent on Visa cards by international visitors were retail goods and services (22 percent), transport (12 percent), accommodation (10 percent), sports and leisure (eight percent) and restaurants and food (six percent).

"We believe this sort of information provides useful insights for everyone from local operators to those designing tourism policy to better understand the person that we are all ultimately working to attract - the customer," says Iain Jamieson.

The report follows on from the Recent Trends by Visitors to Australia report released in March.

Visa Asia Pacific

Visa is the world's leading payment brand more than 1.1 billion cards in circulation worldwide. Visa-branded cards, with unsurpassed acceptance at merchant locations and ATMs in more than 150 countries, are used to purchase over US$2.5 trillion worth of goods and services every year and. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of universal commerce - the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way.

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