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Market Trends

The Australian market has been performing well, with excellent growth in holiday arrivals and forward bookings continue to look extremely positive.

Official New Zealand Government forecasts are for Australian visitor arrivals to reach 1.64 million in 2018 (source: NZIER Tourism forecasts 2012-18). One of the quoted drivers from NZIER is the opportunity to leverage growing middle-class incomes in Australia.

New Zealand competes closely with the United States of America and Indonesia in the Australian market, as well as with domestic Australian destinations such as Queensland and Western Australia.


That said, Western Australia has been a stand-out performer and all indicators are that this market will continue to grow considerably, helped by Qantas' Perth-Auckland and Air New Zealand's Perth-Christchurch routes. 

Tourism New Zealand runs a range of campaign activities in Australia year round, including television advertising, online marketing, and public relations. It also works closely with regional tourism organisations, airlines, operators, and travel sellers to promote New Zealand and develop the market. Australians are confident researching and booking New Zealand holidays online and Tourism New Zealand campaign activity in this market makes the most of digital media channels.

New Zealand has the highest consideration and preference as a holiday destination in Australia and is perceived to be a destination where travellers can explore and discover unique places and experiences.

Market Activity

Tourism New Zealand's Australia activity has a primary objective of growing value through a focus on high value visitors. The aim is to drive more first time holiday visitors, improve seasonal arrivals and ultimately grow total holiday stay days.


Tourism New Zealand has refined its Active Considerer target market in Australia to focus on three segments: Young Adventurers, Independent Professionals and Silver Surfers. Tourism New Zealand's communications strategy will be delivered in three main 'waves' of activity under the headlines of Touring, Special Interest and Winter Action. Tourism New Zealand will improve its online training of frontline travel trade and its personal training of wholesale and reservation trade partners in line with all three main 'waves' of activity.

New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria generate the largest numbers of New Zealand holiday arrivals, but Tourism New Zealand has placed extra resources to drive further growth in high value visitor arrivals from Western Australia. Over the last five years growth from Western Australian holiday arrivals has averaged five per cent and these tourists stay an average of 14 days in New Zealand. 

Tourism New Zealand is also working to increase value from the rapidly growing cruise sector out of Australia by supporting initiatives that grow cruise/coach and cruise/self-drive initiatives.


Key Indicators

The Australian economy is entering its 25th year of economic growth, something few other developed economies have done. Employment has been growing and consumers are benefitting from lower prices and interest rates.

Australia's economic growth prospects are favourable, with real GDP forecast to grow 3.16% in 2016.

Exchange Rate vs NZD AUD1 = NZD1.09 (June 2015)
Expected GDP Growth

+3.16% for 2016

www.budget.gov.au (GDP Growth)
www.xe.com (Exchange rates)

For more detailed information on the Australian economy read the economic analysis in New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Australia country brief.

Outbound Travel

Total outbound departures are forecast to continue to record solid growth in future years. The annual average growth for outbound resident departures is expected to be 3.7 per cent, with departures reaching 11.6 million by 2021/22 (source: Australia Tourism Forecasting Committee, TRA 2012 Issue 2).

According to Tourism New Zealand research, its target market in Australia is looking for a holiday destination where they can have fun, learn and experience new things, and feel relaxed, welcome, safe and comfortable.

Those aged over 40 are more likely to value feeling safe and welcome, and less likely to prioritise reducing stress and escaping everyday life; those under 40 are more likely to value personal challenge and getting an adrenaline rush.

Airline Update

An alliance between Qantas and Emirates was approved by the New Zealand Government in May 2013. As a result there are two alliances that supply almost all trans-Tasman travel.

Qantas (QF), Emirates (EK) and Jetstar (JQ) make up around 37 per cent of the market and Air NZ/Virgin Australia represent around 60 per cent.

Cruise Update

The cruise industry is resilient and Australia's outbound travel on cruise ships continues to grow. Mass market cruise is growing faster than other travel sectors, and according to market reports there is no foreseeable limit to industry growth. Australia has also surpassed North America as the main source of cruise passengers to New Zealand.