Markets overview

To ensure tourism gives back more than it takes, we target ‘high quality visitation’.

High-quality visitors are defined by more than the money they spend — the way they contribute to Aotearoa matters too. We look at the type of visitor, their scope of activities, how they travel across seasons and regions, environmental consciousness, and engagement with our culture and communities. 

Select from the major markets below for top-level overviews and visitor information reports.

New Zealand     Australia     USA     China     UK     Germany     Japan

New Zealand

In April 2020, Tourism New Zealand started working with Regional Tourism Organisations to encourage domestic travel.

Key market insights

  • 68% of New Zealanders plan to take a domestic holiday in the next 12 months — consistent with levels seen the same time a year ago.
  • Key triggers for taking a domestic holiday remain unchanged: needing a break, wanting to see more of New Zealand, visiting family or friends.
  • The trend towards shorter domestic trips continues with less Kiwis planning to take a domestic holiday longer than six days versus December 2021.

Download latest domestic market report.

Australia

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), Australia was New Zealand’s largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitor arrivals.

Key market statistics

  • 1.5m Australian visitors arrived
  • Australian visitors spent $2.7b – an average of $2,044 per person
  • 38% of Australian holiday visitors stayed between 8-14 days
  • 30% of Australian visitors arrived in summer and 22% in winter

Key market insights

  • Our target market segments in Australia are the Experienced Connectors, Vibrant Adventurers and the Organised Joy Seekers.
  • Visitors from Australia return to New Zealand 3-4 times in their lifetime, providing a big opportunity to increase regional dispersal and ‘touring’ activity to increase bookings for smaller regions.
  • Seasonally, Australian holiday arrivals were balanced throughout the year. They made up 27% of holiday arrivals - but over winter this jumped to 43%.
  • Australian visitors are most likely to join in wildlife activities, water activities, adventure tourism, and museums, galleries and live performances.

Download latest Australia visitor snapshot.

United States of America (USA)

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), the USA was New Zealand's third largest international visitor market. Visitor numbers from the US on are on the rise due to increased air capacity and more direct airline routes.

Key market statistics

  • 370,000 American visitors arrived
  • United States visitors $1.53b – an average of $4,707 per person
  • 18% of United States visitors came to visit friends or family
  • 40% of United States visitors arrived in summer and 14% in winter
  • 36% of United States visitors stayed between 8-14 days

Key market insights

  • Our target market segments in the USA are the Experienced Connectors, Vibrant Adventurers and the Fun-Loving Trail Blazers.
  • Travellers from the US are the most satisfied with their New Zealand holidays, according to our visitor experience monitor research. During their visit, two-thirds of Americans travelled beyond New Zealand's main tourist centres to the regions.
  • US travellers in our priority mindsets are much more likely to visit New Zealand to learn and explore new things, and yo feel a sense of adventure, than those in non-priority mindsets.
  • 68% of American travellers book their travel through an agent.
  • United States visitors are most likely to join in wildlife activities, water activities, museums, galleries and live performances, and geothermal attractions.

Download latest United States visitor snapshot.

China

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), China was New Zealand's second largest international visitor market and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend.

Key market statistics

  • 407,000 Chinese visitors arrived
  • Chinese spent $1.7b – an average of $4,605 per person
  • 33% of Chinese visitors stayed between 8-14 days
  • 32% of Chinese visitors arrived in summer and 19% in winter

Key market insights

  • Our target market segments in China are the Experienced Connectors, Vibrant Adventurers and Fun-Loving Trail Blazers.
  • Many Chinese people tend to travel during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) in February.
  • Around half of Chinese visitors stay in New Zealand for longer than a week.
  • Over 40% of Chinese visitors were 50+ in age.
  • Popular activities for our Chinese visitors included wildlife activities, geothermal attractions, museums, galleries and life performances, and Māori cultural experiences.

Download latest China visitor snapshot.

United Kingdom (UK)

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), the United Kingdom was our fourth largest international visitor market.

Key market statistics

  • 230,000 UK visitors arrived
  • United Kingdom visitors spent $1.03b – an average of $4,800 per person
  • 45% of United Kingdom visitors came to visit friends or family
  • 50% of United Kingdom visitors arrived in summer and 10% in winter
  • 36% of United Kingdom visitors stayed more than 22 days
  • United Kingdom visitors spent $448m in the regions (44% of all spending)

Key market insights

  • Our target market segments in the UK are the Experienced Connectors and Vibrant Adventurers.
  • 75% of all UK visitors into New Zealand booked through a traditional travel agent, about 5% booked via an OTA (online travel agent), and about 20% booked airline direct online.
  • Half of British visitors to New Zealand have been to New Zealand at least once before.
  • Around three quarters (73.2%) of British travellers ventured outside of the main tourist centres and into the regions.

Download latest United Kingdom visitor snapshot.

Germany

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), Germany was New Zealand’s sixth largest international visitor market.

Key market statistics

  • 98,000 Germans arrived
  • German visitors spent $573m – an average of $6,093 per person
  • 52% of German visitors are aged under 35
  • 29% of German visitors arrive in the South Island
  • 48% of German visitors arrived in summer and 8% in winter
  • 54% of German visitors stayed more than 22 days

Key market insights (prior to COVID-19)

  • Our target market segments in Germany are the Experienced Connectors and Vibrant Adventurers
  • German visitors are independent travellers and travel to an average of eight regions in New Zealand, making them our most widely travelled market.
  • They appreciate New Zealand's mix of natural wonders and cultural attractions and seek an active encounter with the environment and culture.
  • The length of stay and average spend per night are both high compared to other markets, increasing the value of the German market to New Zealand's tourism industry.
  • 80% of all German visitors into New Zealand book through a traditional travel agent, about 5% book via an online travel agent, and about 15% book direct online.

Download latest Germany visitor snapshot.

Japan

In 2019 (prior to COVID-19), Japan was New Zealand's fifth largest international visitor market. New Zealand is currently seeing limited growth from the Japan market following a strong growth phase over recent years.

Key market statistics

  • Japanese visitors spent $277m – an average of $3,253 per person
  • 26% of Japanese visitors are aged over 55
  • 34% of Japanese visitors arrived in summer and 21% in winter
  • 49% of Japanese visitors stayed 4-7 days
  • Japanese visitors love wildlife activities, water activities, museums, galleries and live performances, and Māori cultural experiences

Key market insights

  • Our target market segments in Japan are the Experienced Connectors and Vibrant Adventurers.
  • The traditional peak period for Japanese visitors is from November to March.
  • Research shows Japanese youth are motivated by adventure and refreshment and active boomers by nature and the outdoors, which is great news for New Zealand as these types of activities exist in abundance.

Download latest Japan visitor snapshot.