Market overview

Following the global outbreak of Covid-19 New Zealand's borders were closed to visitors in March 2020. This has had a considerable impact on New Zealand's tourism sector. Since the outbreak, New Zealand and Australia have made solid progress managing Covid-19. This has enabled both countries to consider planning for a safe travel zone between the two nations, providing it can be done safely. 

Prior to Covid-19, Australia was New Zealand’s largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitor arrivals. 

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

This plays into Tourism New Zealand’s long-term plan for all visitors to enrich New Zealand through growth that is productive, sustainable and inclusive.

Planned activity

Even though we can’t welcome visitors to New Zealand at the moment, it’s still incredibly important to continue to build preference and desire for New Zealand.   

Tourism New Zealand's activity is driven by insights about the Australian consumer. We work with a range of stakeholders, agencies and industry to ensure this work is a success. Here is an outline of our planned activity as we relaunch in the Australian market: 

  • Pure: A Journey of Reflection campaign – live now  
  • Webinars for the New Zealand industry about our Australian activity and how to understand and attract the Australian visitor  
  • New campaign work to appeal specifically to Australian consumers 
  • Content partnerships with key media outlets   
  • Work with Australian trade partners 
  • Product development workshops for industry 
  • Joint ventures with commercial partners 
  • Australian active considerer monitoring, tracking travel sentiment of those who rate New Zealand as a preferred destination  

 Recent Australian campaigns include:  

4 The average number of times Australian visitors return to New Zealand for a holiday.

Key insights

Prior to Covid-19 

  • 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
  • Ski was a key driver for Australian first-time arrivals to New Zealand 

More information

Exchange rates:

GDP growth:

For more detailed information on the Australian economy view the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Australia market guide.