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About the industry

Tourism is New Zealand's largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. It directly employs 7.5 per cent of the New Zealand workforce.

Tourism is New Zealand's largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. It directly employs 7.5 per cent of the New Zealand workforce and it has the potential to improve the economies of communities around the country.

Data and statistics

For the year ended March 2016

  • Total tourism expenditure was $34.7 billion, an increase of 12.2 percent from the previous year.

  • International tourism expenditure increased 17.1 percent ($1.7 billion) to $11.8 billion, and contributed 17.4 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.

  • Domestic tourism expenditure increased 7.4 percent ($1.4 billion) to $20.2 billion.

  • Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $12.9 billion, or 5.6 percent of GDP.

  • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $9.8 billion for tourism, or 4.3 percent of GDP.

  • 188,136 people were directly employed in tourism (7.5 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand).

  • Tourists generated $2.8 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue.

(Source: Tourism Satellite Account 2016, Statistics New Zealand)

Want to know more?

Find out more about our international markets, including latest statistics and data, in the Markets and Stats section of this website.

Visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Economic Development information for Tourism Industry Key Statistics.

Find out more about the global tourism industry at www.unwto.org.