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Taranaki Tourism Sector Witnesses Strong International Visitor Growth

The latest tourism stats from the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) have been released, highlighting significant international tourism growth in Taranaki, with an increase of 215% compared to the same period in 2022. This growth showed the strongest proportional increase across all of the 16 regions.

This upswing emphasises the heightened global appeal of Taranaki as a destination of choice for international travellers, with many looking for unique, off-the-beaten-path destinations in a post-COVID world.

This figure is also supported by a longer, more substantive international trend, reflecting significant growth over time across the international market, with historical records showing a 25.8% increase in international guest nights when compared to the same period in 2019.

"We’re thrilled with these latest figures and the strength we’re seeing across the international visitor market which represents a significant opportunity for Taranaki given we have traditionally been a domestic market destination," said Brylee Flutey Te Puna Umanga Venture Taranaki, General Manager of Destination.

These latest figures demonstrate what locals already know, highlighting the allure of the region’s picturesque landscapes, cultural assets, and vibrant communities, which have drawn international and domestic visitors alike. Along with this international influx, domestic visitation remains stable although slightly down on the same period.

In conjunction with the impressive international growth, the latest edition of "Winter Trends" a semi-annual publication by Venture Taranaki, also reveals a consistent upturn in visitor spend, with data from the March 2023 quarter showing visitor expenditure in Taranaki had increased by an impressive 21.5% compared to the year ending March 2022. This growth remains notably resilient even when adjusted for inflation, surpassing the data reported in 2022.

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"It’s pleasing to see our mahi paying off, as well as the work of our individual operators, enterprises, event producers, councils, and stakeholders. More people than ever are choosing to visit Taranaki, and the benefits of this are flowing directly back to our communities and businesses," said Flutey.

These figures spotlight the attraction of Taranaki as a must-visit destination and emphasise the important role of Venture Taranaki as the regional tourism office. They further highlight the impact of the agency’s recently concluded, MBIE-funded, Visitor Futures programme, which resulted in initiatives such as the recently awarded Trip-to game-based web app, as well as their destination development approach to tourism.

Venture Taranaki remains dedicated to developing and supporting the visitor economy, and promoting the region as a vibrant, connected visitor destination, working collaboratively with tourism operators and the wider industry and stakeholders to enhance the visitor experience while ensuring sustainable growth of the region’s visitor sector.

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