New Zealand

Market overview

Following the global outbreak of COVID-19, New Zealand's borders were closed from March 2020 to most international visitors. This had a considerable impact on New Zealand's tourism sector.  In April 2020, Tourism New Zealand was asked to help kickstart domestic tourism to help the sector get back on its feet and help restart New Zealand’s economy.  

This work includes research and insights, consumer marketing campaigns, industry engagement and other activity to ensure the domestic tourism industry is well positioned for recovery. 

Did you know that before COVID-19, 60 percent ($23.7 billion) of New Zealand’s tourism expenditure came from New Zealanders getting out and experiencing their own country? New Zealanders also previously spent $9 billion on overseas travel per year. Capturing a portion of this spend domestically while our borders are closed will be critical to the sector’s recovery. 

Key insights

  • 72% of New Zealanders travelled for leisure purposes in 2019
  • New Zealanders make 45 million domestic trips per year
    • 61% of these are day trips
    • 39% are overnight trips
  • 90% of domestic leisure travel in New Zealand is via car.

Domestic activity plan

Tourism New Zealand's activity is driven by insights about the domestic consumer. We are also working with a range of stakeholders, agencies and industry to ensure this work is a success. Here is an outline of our planned activity for the next three months:

  • Social media campaign encouraging New Zealanders to travel safely - went live in May  
  • 'Do Something New, New Zealand' - a campaign to inspire domestic travel - launched 22 May 
  • Domestic audience insights infographic - see below released 22 May 
  • Partnership with savemybucketlist.com - underway
  • Content partnerships with key media outlets - launched May 
  • Product development workshops for industry
  • Domestic version of newzealand.com - launched in June
  • Further domestic insights for industry releases 
  • Joint ventures with commercial partners like Air New Zealand and the Automobile Association

Do Something New, New Zealand campaign toolkit

A free digital toolkit is available for the tourism industry to leverage the Do Something New, New Zealand campaign.

The toolkit is available to download from our visual library and contains a range of assets tourism businesses can use to align their marketing with the national campaign.

Data and insights

Domestic travel report

Data we commissioned with Data Ventures provides a snapshot of domestic tourism across all regions in New Zealand at certain times of the year. 

Domestic sentiment study - July 2020

We commissioned a piece of research through Kantar to find out how New Zealanders feel about holidaying at home. It shows that 64 per cent of New Zealanders intend to take a domestic holiday within the next year, but also highlighted the potential barriers that may prevent some New Zealanders from booking a holiday at home. 

We shared the research findings with industry in a webinar, you can view it here. We've also turned the findings into an infographic which you can download below. For more information about what we are doing to address the potential barriers to travel that exist, read our media release on the research.

Domestic audience infographic - May 2020

The information in this infographic has been collated based on a synthesised view, taking into consideration a significant range of existing global and national data and research to draw out the primary insights to provide an overarching picture of the domestic market and audience-understanding pre COVID-19 and predicted behaviour once restrictions ease to inform Tourism New Zealand's domestic approach.