International visitor spend to leap 52% to $15bn by 2023

PRESS RELEASE: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Strong growth in international visitor numbers and spending is forecast for New Zealand’s tourism sector, with international visitors projected to spend $15.3 billion annually by 2023, according to the New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2017-2023 released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Highlights from the Tourism Forecasts 2017-2023 include:

  • International visitor arrivals to New Zealand are forecast to reach 4.9 million visitors a year in 2023 (from 3.5 million in 2016, up 39 per cent), equating to a growth rate of 4.8 per cent per year.
  • Total annual international spend is forecast to reach $15.3 billion in 2023 (from 10 billion in 2016, up 52.1 per cent), equating to a growth rate of 6.2 per cent per year.
  • Growth in visitor numbers is expected to be the main contributor to overall international spend growth, with increasing spend per trip (or visitor) also playing a significant role.
  • China is expected to become New Zealand’s largest tourism market by spend during the forecast period, and to reach $4.3 billion annually by 2023. Visitor numbers are expected to reach just under one million annually by the end of the forecast period.
  • China is expected to contribute to 37 per cent of total international visitor growth from 2016 to 2023, and 51 per cent of total visitor spending.
  • Australia is forecast to remain the largest source of visitor arrivals over the forecast period, contributing 1.8 million annual visitors to New Zealand by 2023, up 25 per cent from 2016.
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