Significant growth in international visitor spending

On: 18 May 2018

Spending by international visitors in New Zealand reached $10.9 billion for the year to March 2018, according to the latest International Visitor Survey released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

MBIE’s manager of Sector Trends Mark Gordon says there has been significant growth in international visitor spending, with an increase of nine percent (or $866 million) compared with the year ended March 2017.

“International visitors from China and the United States made up around half of the overall growth in spending, contributing a total of $424 million. Rises in average spending and visitor numbers have helped to boost both markets, with the US seeing strong growth in spending by visitors aged 65 and over.

“March quarters are the strongest for international tourism spending, and the March 2018 quarter had the highest spend on record, totalling $4.2 billion. International visitors are also spending more per day than ever before. They spent on average $193 per day in the year ending March 2018, up eight per cent compared with the year ending March 2017,” says Mark Gordon.

The International Visitor Survey asks visitors to report on all of their spending, excluding international airfares. This includes all types of spending including cash, cards, tour packages and any spending before they arrived in New Zealand (e.g. booking accommodation online). The survey only includes expenditure by travellers aged 15+ and excludes individuals who are foreign-fee paying students.

More information on the International Visitor Survey

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