International visitor spend up 31 per cent for December 2015 year

On: 26 February 2016

International visitor spend grew 31 per cent to $9.7 billion in the December 2015 year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

“This continued growth is driven by New Zealand’s major tourism markets, with significant increases in total spending by visitors from China, up an estimated 63 per cent from the previous year; the United States (a 40 per cent increase) and United Kingdom (35 per cent). Spending by visitors from Australia, New Zealand’s largest market, increased 19 per cent,” MBIE’s Sector Trends Manager Peter Ellis says.

“The main contributing factor is the continued increase in per person spend (up 19 per cent to $3,440), which is returning to a level similar to that before the global financial crisis.

“The price drop in international airfares may also be contributing to the increased spend per person as well as exchange rates, with the pound sterling, Chinese yuan and United States dollar all strengthening against the New Zealand dollar during the period,” Mr Ellis says.

Year-end December 2015 reporting is showing strong, stabilised growth in the sector.

The International Visitor Survey measures the expenditure and travel patterns of international visitors to New Zealand. Data includes expenditure, places visited, activities/attractions, accommodation and transport. It is based on results from approximately 9,500 visitors departing New Zealand airports, with data released by MBIE. Summary statistics are available in the IVS key data table.

The data is also available on the new Tourism Dashboard.

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