MBIE, Stats NZ, Customs NZ and the New Zealand Cruise Association have worked together to produce official estimates of the cruise sector for the first time.
Supported by the cruise industry, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has led a project over the last year to produce official statistics for cruise spending and passenger numbers. Stats NZ is now responsible for producing these statistics, which were previously published by the New Zealand Cruise Association. Stats NZ will use their own methodology developed for this.
Cruise passengers and crew numbers
On 18 October 2017, Stats NZ released the number of cruise passengers and crew arriving and departing New Zealand for the latest cruise season, for the year to June 2017. They also released numbers for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. This release presents information for the last three years by NZ port, nationality and age bands of the cruise passengers.
Key findings of the Cruise ship passenger statistics for the year to June:
- 222,000 cruise ship passengers visited New Zealand in the June 2017 year, down seven per cent from the June 2016 year. This was due to a fall in the number of winter cruises in 2017.
- Fifty per cent of all cruise ship passengers to New Zealand were Australian citizens, while 18 per cent were United States citizens, and nine per cent were United Kingdom citizens. New Zealanders made up seven per cent of cruise ship passengers.
- Three quarters of cruise ship passengers in New Zealand were aged 50-79 in the June 2017 year, with the median age of cruise passengers 65.
- Four of every five cruise ship passengers to New Zealand in 2017 visited Auckland. Roughly three-quarters visited Fiordland, Dunedin, and Wellington. Roughly two-thirds visited Tauranga and a Canterbury port (mainly Akaroa).
Cruise expenditure was released as part of Stats NZ’s Tourism Satellite Account on 13 December 2017. The information released provides information of national cruise visitor and vessel spend, and total spend by port.
Key findings of the cruise ship expenditure statistics for the year to June:
- There was an estimated $306 million spent by Cruise ship vessels and visitors in the June 2017 year, an increase of 12.5 per cent from the June 2016 year. This increase was mainly driven by increased vessel spending (which includes shipping agency fees, fuel bunkering and purchasing supplies).
- Cruise spending in Auckland was $96 million, around one third of all expenditure. Bay of Plenty cruise spending was $59 million, or around 20 per cent. Wellington and Canterbury made up around eight per cent of cruise spending each.