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News Article

New Zealand – international visitor spending

International visitors contribute more than NZ$10.5 billion in 2017

International tourism provided greater economic benefit to New Zealand in 2017 than ever before. Total spend was up 5 percent to NZ$10.56 billion according to the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) figures released by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on 21 February. Although not statistically significant, the spending increase was NZ$477 million over the year. International visitor statistics released on 1 February show that visitor numbers in the year to December 2017 were 3.73 million, up 233,800 (7 percent). Average spend per visitor fell slightly (although not statistically significantly) from NZ$3,230 year ended December 2016 to NZ$3,190 year ended December 2017 (down one per cent).

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says the latest IVS results are a positive signal that New Zealand is targeting its key markets well.

“New Zealand’s six key visitor markets now make up more than two-thirds of total international visitor spend, at more than NZ$7.12 billion,” says Mr England-Hall.

“Tourism New Zealand remains committed to these markets and best positioning New Zealand and its regions as a world-class holiday destination. “In turn, we make our research and market insights available to the wider New Zealand tourism industry so they can tailor their product to these high-value markets.”

“International visitor spend means greater benefits for everyday New Zealanders in a number of ways. Local business growth is supported, meaning more options for cafes, restaurants and events. It also means New Zealand can invest in essential community services such as hospitals and schools.”

Australian arrivals, New Zealand’s largest visitor market, topped the total spend for 2017 contributing NZ$2.57 billion (+3%) to the New Zealand economy. This was followed by China, with NZ$1.46 billion.

Visitors from the United States – New Zealand’s third largest visitor market – spent 18 percent more in 2017 than in the year prior, reaching a total of NZ$1.3 billion. This surpasses the 14 percent increase in visitor arrivals from the US over the same period.

The German market continues to top the list of big spenders, contributing an average of NZ$5100 per visitor – although this was a significant decrease from NZ$6300 in the year ending December 2016, partly  due to a decrease in the average length of stay of German visitors from 52 days in 2016 to 47.5 days in 2017.. Germany remains an important market for Tourism New Zealand, with visitors typically staying longer and visiting more regions than other visitor markets.

Germany is followed by the United Kingdom (NZ$4400, -1%) and the United States (NZ$4400, +5%) for average spend per visitor.

For more information on the latest IVS, visit

Related article - Confidence high in New Zealand tourism businesses

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Simpson
  • Date
  • 26 February 2018
  • Source
  • Tourism New Zealand
  • Subject(s)
  • Tourism