Tourism and the economy

The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) report presents information on tourism's contribution to the New Zealand economy in terms of expenditure and employment.

Latest Tourism Satellite Account — Dec 2021

Stats NZ develops and publishes the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) with funding we provide.

The 2021 TSA report provides a picture of the role tourism plays in New Zealand, with information on the changing levels and impact of tourism activity. Results cover provisional figures for the year ended March 2021, and detailed results for 2020.

Tourism Satellite Account: 2021 [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2021: Excel Tables 1-18 [XLSX, 191 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2021: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 77 KB]

Note: Tables 19-26 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2020.

2021 Key Provisional Estimates

Note: The 2021 annual estimates captured the impact of COVID-19 in New Zealand between the period April 2020 and March 2021. The extent of COVID-19’s impact beyond this period will be evident in 'Tourism satellite account: Year ended March 2022', to be published in December 2022.

Key provisional estimates for the year ended March 2021:

  • total tourism expenditure was $26.1 billion, a decrease of 37.3% ($15.6 billion) from the previous year
  • international tourism expenditure decreased 91.5% ($16.2 billion) to $1.5 billion:
    • international student expenditure (studying less than 12 months) was $78 million, a decrease of 98.1% ($4.1 billion)
    • international tourism’s overall contribution to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services fell to 2.1% from 20.0%, a decrease of 17.9 percentage points
    • GST generated from international tourists totalled $165 million, a decrease of $1.7 billion
  • overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand decreased 98.6% (3.6 million arrivals) to 52,690
  • domestic tourism expenditure increased 2.6% ($622 million) to $24.6 billion:
    • household tourism expenditure increased 8.1% ($1.4 billion)
    • business and government decreased 13.0% ($815 million)
  • tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $8.5 billion, or 2.9% of GDP, a decrease of 47.5% ($7.7 billion), or 2.6 percentage points
  • the indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $5.8 billion, or 1.9% of GDP
  • the number of people attributed to being directly employed in tourism was 146,295 – a decrease of 33.1% (72,285 people):
    • the number of tourism employees was 126,204 – a decrease of 34.2% (65,550)
    • the number of tourism working proprietors was 20,091 – a decrease of 25.1% (6,738)
    • as a share of the total number of people employed in New Zealand, direct tourism employment was 5.2%, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the previous year.

Interpretation of data

  • There were a small number of visitors who met the definition of a tourist and arrived in the March 2021 year due to the COVID-19 border restrictions. This led to a loss of almost all international tourism expenditure for the year.
  • An even larger decrease in international student expenditure is reflective of the small number of tourists who are here for education purposes (studying for less than 12 months). This is different to the calculation of education exports in the balance of payments, encompassing all international students regardless of duration.
  • Accommodation expenditure in the March 2021 year has been impacted by both Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ), and the use of traditional accommodation providers for emergency housing, primarily during lockdowns. The vast majority of MIQ expenditure is not tourism activity as it is for returning New Zealand residents and therefore excluded from the accommodation expenditure estimates.

The Sustainable Tourism Explorer (STE) has been updated with the new TSA data

TSA data are now available in the STE in the form of interactive graphs. As well as visualising the data, you can also customise the graphs and download them or the related data.

Tourism GDP as a proportion of total GDP(external link) — Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre (TEIC)

Direct tourism value added by industry(external link) — TEIC (not available for the provisional year-ended March 2021, only up to 2020)

Direct and indirect employment from tourism(external link) — TEIC

2021 Revisions

'Tourism satellite account: Year ended March 2021' includes revisions made to both the domestic and international tourism expenditure series. These revisions cause changes to the value of tourism expenditure in the New Zealand economy, and affect the official tourism satellite account (TSA) time series.

Revisions to the expenditure series included the following.

  • Historic changes to export education source data used to derive international student expenditure.
  • Updated source data used in the derivation of imputed rental on holiday homes.
  • A change in the name and associated expenditure value of the former ‘cultural, recreation, and gambling services’ product as featured in tables 11, 12, and 13. This is now called ‘cultural, recreation, travel, and tour services’ with expenditure values revised in ‘other tourism products’ which now includes ‘gambling services’. Expenditure values for each of these products have been revised across the time series.
  • Methodological improvements and changes:
    • integrating revised annual enterprise survey (AES) data (2018 and 2019) and 2020 with household tourism expenditure estimates (HTEE)
    • modelling of the February and March 2021 months of the HTEE due to changes in data supply arrangements (covered in detail in Appendix 2: Methodology)
    • updated HTEE supplementary data sources
    • modelling of international visitor expenditure for the year ended March 2021 due to the suspension of the airport departure based International Visitor Survey (covered in detail in Appendix 2: Methodology)
    • the incorporation of 2020 input-output tables used in the derivation of indirect value added and imports used in the production of goods and services sold to tourists. These have a flow-on impact to indirect tourism employment calculations
    • national accounts data, including revised nominal GDP statistics from 2016 to 2020 2021 national accounts improvements preview.
  • Revisions were also made to annual Linked Employer-Employee Data and Household Labour Force Survey sources used in determining tourism employment.

Stats NZ — Tourism satellite account: Year ended March 2021 Appendix 2: Methodology Stats NZ(external link)

2021 national accounts improvements preview(external link)

Tourism industry ratios are impacted because of these revisions. These ratios are the proportion of an industry’s output that is consumed by tourists and are used to calculate value-added and tourism employment estimates. As a result of the ratio changes, we revised the historical value added-time series. Together with the ratio changes, we also revised the tourism employment time series.

More data

More detailed Tourism Satellite Account data and technical information is available on Stats NZ's website.

Stats NZ — Tourism(external link)

Previous Tourism Satellite Account tables

2020 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2020: Excel Tables 1-18 [XLSX, 192 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2020: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 77 KB]

2019 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2019: Excel Tables 1-18 [XLSX, 190 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2019: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 79 KB]

Note: Tables 19-26 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2018.

2018 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2018: Excel Tables 1-18 [XLSX, 193 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2018: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 82 KB]

Note: Tables 19-26 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2017.

2017 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2017: Excel Tables 1-18 [XLSX, 189 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2017: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 78 KB]

Note: Tables 19-26 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2016.

2016 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2016: Excel Tables 1-16 [XLSX, 154 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2016: Excel Tables 19-26 [XLSX, 60 KB]

Note: Tables 19-26 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2013.

2015 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2015: Excel Tables 1-14 [XLSX, 185 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2015: Excel Tables 17-24 [XLSX, 57 KB]

Note: Tables 17-24 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2012.

2014 Tourism Satellite Account Tables

Tourism Satellite Account 2014: Excel Tables 1-14 [XLSX, 193 KB]

Tourism Satellite Account 2014: Excel Tables 17-24 [XLSX, 69 KB]

Note: Tables 17-24 contain detailed tables for the year ended March 2011.

Last updated: 04 April 2022