News & Activity

Thursday, June 06, 2024

International visitor spend up $1.3b on previous year

New data from the International Visitor Survey shows visitors contributed $4.5 billion to New Zealand’s economy between January and March 2024. An increase of 34%* or $1.3 billion for the same time period in 2023.

The figures hold tourism as New Zealand’s second largest export earner.

“It’s great to see visitors contributing so strongly to our economy in the first three months of the year. The spend figures are in line with a positive summer season reported by industry,” says Tourism New Zealand General Manager International, Angela Blair.

“Tourism New Zealand’s has now turned our focus to growing off-peak visitation to support productive and sustainable tourism growth year-round.

“We’ve set an ambitious target of growing international tourism by $5B over the next four years, with 70% ($3.5b) of that coming from visitors in the off-peak. We look forward to working in partnership with industry to achieve this.

The top three markets by spend between January and March 2024 were Australia ($558m), China ($490m), USA ($471m). However, visitors from the USA spent most per day at $349.

The top motivation for holiday visitors (76%) to travel to New Zealand continues to be experiencing our landscapes and scenery. 84% of holiday visitors said they did enjoy walking, trekking, or tramping while here, and 75% visited natural attractions such as a lake, river or forest.

The data also showed that 40% of holiday visitors visited four or more regions, a 13% increase on the previous quarter.

“It’s encouraging to see visitors are experiencing more regions during their visit, helping to spread their economic contribution across the country and supporting multiple communities.

Visitors also embraced Māori culture during their visit, with 90.6% of visitors saying their trip improved their understanding of Māori culture. Likewise, 95.8% of visitors reported the New Zealand met or exceeded their expectations.

“It’s wonderful to see destination New Zealand is providing an exceptional experience for visitors, and that’s a real credit to the industry,” concluded Blair.

 International survey data March 2024(opens in new window)

  • International visitors spent $4.5b between January to March 2024 and $11/2b in the year ending March 2024
  • Top visitor markets by arrivals were Australia, USA and the UK
  • Holiday visitors median daily spend was $4325
  • Median length of stay for all visitors was 9.5 days

*Adjusted for inflation