MBIE: International visitors spend record $10.4bn

By the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

Spending by international visitors in New Zealand was a record $10.4bn for the year to September 2017, according to the latest International Visitor Survey from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

An increase in visitors from the United States has resulted in a 14% jump in spending from this market over the year to $1.2bn. Direct flights between Auckland and Houston have helped attract more visitors from the US.

UK visitors during the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 spent upwards of $181m in the third quarter of 2017, up 104% on the same quarter last year.

Australian visitors remain the largest international market for spending in New Zealand, spending $2.6bn over the year to September 2017. The next largest market was Chinese visitors who spent $1.4bn.

While international visitor numbers continue to climb – up 9% over the year to September 2017 – overall expenditure growth has been moderated by the strong New Zealand dollar, which has affected the amount visitors spend on average.

MBIE has predicted that visitor numbers and spend should see a steady growth over the next few years, growing by 47% by 2023 to $15.3bn.

The International Visitor Survey is based on survey results from approximately 8,928 visitors departing New Zealand airports, with data released by MBIE quarterly.

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