The year-end September 2013 International Visitor Survey (IVS) release is the first to include data from the redeveloped IVS and revised visitor spend series.
The new official estimates show total annual visitor spending for the year ending September 2013 is now $6.6 billion, and average holiday visitor spend $3,200. Although historical spend has been revised upward, the overall trend in international visitor spend has remained consistent with earlier surveys. The new figures exclude international student related spend.
Kevin Bowler, CE Tourism New Zealand welcomes the improved reporting methodology.
"The revisions almost certainly offer a more accurate reflection of the expenditure of international visitors and subsequently the value of the tourism industry to the New Zealand economy."
Changes to the new IVS new methodology includes a move to online collection, a shortened questionnaire, and an improvement to the sample size which now includes Queenstown Airport and travellers using business lounges.
Kevin says, "The new reporting makes it easier for visitors to take part in the survey, and combined with its ability to survey a much larger sample size, will over time build a more realistic picture of international visitor spending."
Visitors from Australia, New Zealand's largest market, spent $2.3 billion which visiting New Zealand, up 1 per cent on the prior year. Total spend by Chinese visitors was up 19 per cent, reflecting the strong growth from this market.
The US continued to show strong growth, with total visitor spend up 19 per cent. Visitors from the UK spend decreased 23 per cent, reflecting a decrease in arrivals from the previous year which included the Rugby World Cup 2011.
For more information on the IVS and new methodology visit, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website.