Tourism valuable to economy

Statistics New Zealand has produced an 82 page report on the value of tourism to our economy. International tourist numbers have increased, especially tourists from China and North America. Spending by international tourists increased 17% to $11.8bn in March 2015. Spending by domestic tourists increased more than 6% to $18 bn. Together, tourism puts nearly $30bn into the economy and 7% of all jobs in New Zealand are in the tourist industry. The government receives $2.5bn in GST from tourism spending.

International tourists include people on cruise ships, on package holidays, those who travel by themselves, those who stay with friends and family, people on business and also international students who are here for less than 12 months. Nearly 3 million people visit New Zealand in a year. Most of these come for a holiday. The biggest number – 1.4 m¬ – ¬come from Oceania which includes Australia and other Pacific countries. Asia is second at nearly 700,000, then Europe at nearly half a million followed by the Americas and other countries.

The increase in the number of tourists could be partly because of an increase in flights from Singapore and China.

Tourists spend money on accommodation, meals, air travel, road travel – bus, taxi, car hire – train and boat, food and drink from supermarkets, entertainment and goods like souvenirs. The dairy industry adds more value to our economy but tourism is not far behind.

If you are studying in New Zealand for more than a year, you would be included as a domestic tourist if you travelled around the country.


package holiday – nearly everything is included in the price: accommodation, bus travel, tourist activities

Note: ‘economy’ has the stress on the second syllable


Have you travelled around New Zealand? What is the best way to travel e.g. bus, rental car?
What places would you recommend for tourists to visit?

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