MBIE forecasts tourism spend to grow 65 per cent to $16 billion by 2022

On: 12 May 2016

International tourism expenditure is forecast to grow by 65 per cent to $16 billion in 2022, and the sector is well positioned to capture opportunities from several different markets, according to the New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2016-2022 report released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

MBIE General Manager Evidence, Monitoring and Governance Michael Bird says total international visitor spend is expected to reach $16 billion in 2022, from $9 billion in 2015 and visitor arrivals to New Zealand are expected to grow 5.4 per cent a year, reaching 4.5 million visitors in 2022 from 3.1 million in 2015.

“Visitor numbers are playing a role but increasingly spend per trip (or visitor) is contributing to the bottom line. Trends are showing visitors are staying longer and spending more per day, lifting spend per trip overall,” says Mr Bird.

“Australia is New Zealand’s largest visitor market, providing more than 1.3 million visitors in 2015. The forecasts show that this market will probably continue to be healthy and looks set to grow by 25 per cent by 2022.

“Another key market for New Zealand is China, and our tourism forecasts predict that China will be New Zealand’s largest market in terms of expenditure within the next two years, surpassing Australia. We are already seeing a marked change in the travel patterns of Chinese visitors - they are visiting more regions in New Zealand, and taking on a wider range of activities,” says Mr Bird.

Tourism forecasts for emerging markets are also promising with India forecast to grow expenditure by 62 per cent, and Indonesia by 66 per cent.

Each year MBIE produces the tourism forecasts to help industry plan strategically. The forecasts are based on microeconomic drivers such as airfare costs and airline capacity, as well as macroeconomic drivers such as exchange rates, oil prices, the global economy and the economies of our key visitor markets. They have been developed with input from members of the tourism industry. All forecasts have an element of uncertainty associated with them and this is discussed in the full report.

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