Market overview

Australia’s proximity and strong relationship with New Zealand make it an important market, and critical to New Zealand’s recovery.

Prior to COVID-19, Australia was New Zealand’s largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitor arrivals and spent $2.7b in 2019.

Tourism New Zealand’s long-term plan for all visitors to enrich New Zealand through growth that is productive, sustainable. We take a strategic approach to our activity to achieve this.

Tourism New Zealand's latest April scenario modelling for tourism recovery can be found here

Supporting industry

Tourism New Zealand’s activity is driven by research and insights and will include industry engagement and other activity to ensure the tourism industry is well positioned for recovery.

See more below and join our upcoming webinar to get the latest insights.

Key insights

Prior to Covid-19 

  • Australian visitors contributed 1.5M (40%) arrivals annually and spent $2.7b in 2019.
  • 71% of Australians opted for self-drive holidays in New Zealand.
  • Visitors from Australia returned 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%.
  • 71% of all international arrivals who skied were Australian.

Impact of COVID-19 on Australians’ travel intentions

  • According to Tourism New Zealand’s research on the impact of COVID-19 on intentions to travel, over 77% of Australians who are actively considering travelling to New Zealand will come to holiday, with 28% wanting to visit family and 18% to visit friends.
  • 60% of Australian active considerers are willing to come to New Zealand within six months of borders reopening.
  • Of these, 20% are both willing to come to New Zealand within six months, and have New Zealand as their first preference.
  • Based on Tourism New Zealand scenario modelling it could take until January 2022 for Australia to reach 80% recovery to pre-COVID 19 levels.

More information