United States

Market Overview

The United States is New Zealand's third-largest international tourism market in terms of visitor arrivals, and it is a market where there are real opportunities for growth in the long-term.

The appetite for international travel is really rebounding and New Zealand is doing particularly well out of that at present.

Similar to other Western markets, there is a strong seasonal trend around US holiday visits, with almost half choosing to visit during New Zealand's summer months, December to February.

However, growth in the shoulder seasons around summer in November and March has also been occuring and the increase in US cruise visitors may be contributing to this. 

A growing number of Americans travel New Zealand by cruise ship and the US is New Zealand's second-largest cruise market after Australia. There is strong potential for growth in this sector of the US market, particularly by increasing value by encouraging greater pre- or post-cruise touring. For example, coach and cruise operators combining to provide tours.  

The US is the world's largest long-haul market. There is quite a lot of dual destination travel out of the US, with almost three-quarters of holiday travellers visiting another countryduring their trip, making seven days a key time period for a holiday in New Zealand, although some stay for as many as 21 days. 

Tourism New Zealand is working in the US to grow visitor numbers and value through increased marketing, public relations, and sector-specific activities including premium, business events (incentives and conventions) and special interests (fly-fishing, cycling, golf and walking and hiking).

Of all our international visitors, travellers from the US are most satisfied with their New Zealand holidays, according to Tourism New Zealand's Visitor Experience Monitor research. During their visit, two-thirds of Americans travelled beyond New Zealand's main tourist centres to the regions.

One aspect of our work in the US is to tap into this positive word of mouth and encourage US visitors to recommend New Zealand to friends and family.

Key Statistics

International Visitor Arrivals October 2014

Year End Total 215,744 12.3%
Year End (Holiday) 129,952 15.1%
Month End Total 15,312 15.6%
Month End (Holiday) 9,904 25.1%
Total Stay Days* 3,781,792
Total Stay Days (Holiday)* 1,798,944
Average Length of Stay* 17.5 days
Average Length of Stay (Holiday)* 13.8 days

International Visitor Survey - YE September 2014

Average Expenditure per Visit NZD3,900
Total Expenditure per Annum NZD748m

Market Trends

There has been really good growth from the North American market, with arrival numbers significantly up on the back of a much improved economy and subsequent consumer confidence. The Hobbit...