International visitors contribute more than $10.5 billion in 2017

International tourism provided greater economic benefit to New Zealand in 2017 than ever before. Total spend was up 5 percent to $10.56 billion according to the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) figures released by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) yesterday.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says the latest IVS results are a positive signal that New Zealand is targeting its key markets well.

“New Zealand’s six key visitor markets now make up more than two-thirds of total international visitor spend, at more than $7.12 billion,” says Mr England-Hall.

“Tourism New Zealand remains committed to these markets and best positioning New Zealand and its regions as a world-class holiday destination.”

“In turn, we make our research and market insights available to the wider New Zealand tourism industry so they can tailor their product to these high-value markets.”

“International visitor spend means greater benefits for everyday New Zealanders in a number of ways. Local business growth is supported, meaning more options for cafes, restaurants and events. It also means New Zealand can invest in essential community services such as hospitals and schools.”

Australian arrivals, New Zealand’s largest visitor market, topped the total spend for 2017 contributing $2.57 billion (+3%) to the New Zealand economy. This was followed by our largest Asian visitor market, China, with $1.46 billion.

Visitors from the United States – New Zealand’s third largest visitor market – spent 18 percent more in 2017 than in the year prior, reaching a total of $1.3 billion. This surpasses the 14 percent increase in visitor arrivals from the US over the same period.

The German market continues to top the list of big spenders, contributing an average of $5100 per visitor. Germany remains an important market for Tourism New Zealand, with visitors typically staying longer and visiting more regions than other visitor markets.

Germany is followed by the United Kingdom ($4400, -1%) and the United States ($4400, +5%) for average spend per visitor.

Tourism New Zealand targets people already considering a holiday to New Zealand. Across the six key visitor markets, this is a pool of approximately 60 million people. Tourism New Zealand specifically markets to those audiences that will generate value for New Zealand over the near-, medium- and long-term, solely marketing the off-peak seasons and encouraging travel across multiple regions.

Six of Tourism New Zealand’s 13 offices are located within the six key visitor markets. These markets are: Australia, China, United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

For more information on our visitor markets, visit

For more information on the latest IVS, visit