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International tourism spend survey released


Friday, 19 November 2010

International tourism spend survey released

The numbers of international tourists visiting New Zealand increased 3.8 percent (or 90,000 visitors) in the year to September 2010, but the amount they spent declined by 5.4 percent to $5.8 billion (from $6.1 billion), the Ministry of Economic Development announced today.

The Ministry’s Tourism Strategy Group released the annual International Visitor Survey (IVS), which measures the travel patterns and expenditure of international visitors. Data includes expenditure, places visited, activities/attractions, accommodation and transport.

“More Australians visited New Zealand in the last year than in any other year since 1985,” said Ministry of Economic Development Director Roger Wigglesworth. “However they, like the long-haul visitors from the UK and USA, spent considerably less during their trips.

“On the other hand Korean and Chinese visitor numbers increased (16 percent and 11 percent respectively) and these tourists’ spending also increased significantly (18 percent and 20 percent respectively) to reach a combined total of $605 million in the past year.”

Other key points from the 2010 survey include:

• Australian visitors comprised 44.5 percent of all tourists
• total expenditure by Chinese visitors at $382 million makes China the 4th most important source of tourists
• visitors from the People’s Republic of China spent on average $3,600 during their stay
• tourists from Japan continue to spend the most during their visits ($4,400 per person) but this was down 14 percent on the 2009 figures.

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“The results of the IVS appear to reflect the continuing impact of the global recession on international travel decisions. In addition, the relative strength of the New Zealand dollar seems to have affected both the number of visitors and the level of spending by travellers from the UK and USA,” said Dr Wigglesworth.

“It is great to see that the number of tourists and spending from the Asian markets is rebounding so strongly. It is to be hoped that as economic conditions in our long haul markets improve and exchange rates are readjusted over the next 12 months, we will see a steady increase overall in both tourism numbers and spending levels.”

The International Visitor Survey is available on the Ministry’s tourism research website (


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