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' - Warm-up campaign to inspire domestic travel - launched 22 May 
  • Domestic audience insights infographic - see below released 22 May 
  • Partnership with - underway
  • Content partnerships with key media outlets - launched May 
  • Nationwide campaign to encourage New Zealanders to do something new - coming soon 
  • Domestic traveller sentiment study release 
  • Product development workshops for industry
  • Domestic version of 
  • Further domestic insights for industry releases 
  • Potential joint ventures with commercial partners

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.

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Safe travel advice

For advice on how to keep yourself and others safe while travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic, visit