International visitor spend remains unchanged

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment International Visitor Survey has today reported that international expenditure for the year ending June 2012 remains unchanged at $5.6 billion.

Amidst tough economic conditions, the effects of the Christchurch earthquake, Japanese tsunami and Chilean ash cloud, The Rugby World Cup provided a boost to visitor spend with Rugby World Cup visitors spending $390 million in total.

While few markets showed a significant change in total expenditure China continues to increase its importance as a tourist market increasing by 27 per cent for the period.

"The importance of China to the industry continues with it now ranked third-largest by spend just behind the UK," says Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive Tourism New Zealand.

"Despite the phenomenal growth we have also seen from China in terms of visitor arrivals, the challenge we face is increasing the number of stay days to realise the potential of this market and to see more Chinese experiencing the best of what New Zealand has to offer."

Traditional markets of the UK, USA and Japan continued to decline.

Issued by Issued by Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand; phone +64 21 843 896