Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner says.
Data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates shows tourism spending is up in all regions in the year to March 2017. The fastest growing regions are the West Coast, increasing 11 per cent to $522 million, followed by Nelson (up 10 per cent to $343 million) and Tasman (up 10 per cent to $303 million).
“One of the really interesting findings in today’s release is that United States visitor spending continues its strong upward trend, with a national average of 22 per cent growth over the year to March 2017. Spending by United States visitors is particularly strong in Auckland (up 26 per cent)," Ms Wagner says.
“New Zealand’s tourism sector saw some exceptional growth in 2016 and it’s great to see strong spending figures stretching out into March this year. Tourism New Zealand is making a big effort to get more international visitors here in off-peak seasons, and this work is starting to gain some traction.
“The buoyant tourism market is showing some real benefits to our regional communities, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We’ve recently made a number of announcements that will support the sector and manage the challenges that come with a booming industry.
“An extra $5.5 million has been allocated to the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund to help regional communities respond to visitor growth through new tourism infrastructure.
“In March we announced the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism initiative, which will focus on attracting high-value Chinese visitors who stay longer, spend more and travel independently.
“We have also continued to support businesses affected by last year’s earthquakes, with a new one-million dollar business grant programme for Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough, as well as the establishment of a business recovery trust that will be set up by the Kaikōura District Council.”
Further information from the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates can be found at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-research-data/monthly-regional-tourism-estimates