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New Zealand tourism spending reaches $39.1 billion

New Zealand tourism spending reaches $39.1 billion
January 1, 2019

The tourism industry’s tremendous contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic wellbeing has been reinforced by newly released industry measurements.

The latest Tourism Satellite Account figures show that total annual tourism spend for the year to March 2018 reached an estimated $39.1 billion, an increase of 7.7% or $2.8 billion on the previous year.

International visitor spend is up by 9.6% to $16.2 billion, while domestic visitors spend is up by 6.5% to $23 billion.

Welcoming the figures, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Communications Manager Ann-Marie Johnson advised “this is a continuation of the spectacular growth enjoyed in recent years.”

The Tourism Satellite Account is the official annual measurement of the New Zealand tourism industry, compiled by Stats NZ. It includes measures of tourism spend by international and domestic visitors, the number of people employed directly and indirectly by tourism, tourism’s share of export earnings and its contribution to New Zealand’s GDP.

The new figures show that annual tourism spend is now $10.5 billion a year more than it was in 2014. That’s an extra $29 million dollars a day being spent in communities across New Zealand.

Tourism now provides 20.6% of New Zealand’s total exports. It makes a direct contribution to GDP of 6.1% and a further indirect contribution of 4.3%.

216,000 people are directly employed in tourism, with a further 149,304 indirectly employed providing products and services consumed by visitors. That means 13.5% of our total workforce is earning a living from tourism.

Johnson adds “these figures reinforce our insight that tourism will continue to grow and sustain employment across our country. It means that a career in tourism is a viable and stable choice for young people, which is an area of particular importance to the industry.”

In 2014, through its Tourism 2025 Growth Framework, the industry set a goal of being a $41 billion industry by 2025. It is well ahead of projected markers to meet that goal.

The attention of industry leaders is now focused on managing the growth in tourism and sharing the benefits with our communities.

The number of sign-ups to TIA’s Tourism Sustainability Commitment has now hit 700, a massive achievement which shows a shared industry dedication to economic, visitor, community and environmental sustainability.

The recent introduction of the Tiaki Promise is another string in the industry bow. Lead by seven tourism organisations and announced by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, the Tiaki Promise outlines what travellers can do to care for New Zealand, travel safely and act as guardians of our land, waterways and ocean.

Johnson concludes “prioritising the sustainability of the tourism industry ensures we can manage and grow our contribution to New Zealand’s economy whilst offering more benefits and opportunities to the communities in which we operate.”

Image: Takapo Springs.

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9th November 2018 - New Zealand tourism industry focusing on sustainable growth

5th November 2018 - Marking its best ever season, Mt Hutt announces 2019 developments

4th November 2018 - Canterbury researchers use social media analysis to understand sustainable tourism

13th September 2018 - Tourism funding will benefit New Zealand’s regions

14th August 2018 - WTTC research shows tourism generated 18% of New Zealand’s GDP in 2017

12th May 2018 - New Zealand Government looks to introduce levy on international visitors

14th December 2017 - Tourism makes major contribution to New Zealand economy


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