Research shows i-SITEs play a key role in unlocking visitor spending

New research has highlighted the key role i-SITE visitor centres play in unlocking visitor spending in New Zealand’s lucrative tourism sector.

The Economic Impact Analysis of the i-SITE Network report shows that i-SITEs improve visitor experiences, which in turn increases local spending and generates local benefits.

It also showed that for every $1 provided in funding, the network returns on average $8.70 in GDP.

i-SITE New Zealand Executive Manager Paul Yeo says tourism, both domestic and international, generates $23.7 billion of expenditure in New Zealand, making it one of New Zealand’s largest industries.

“As the global tourism market grows, the international tourism dollar coming to New Zealand is expected to increase.

“One of the keys to maximising tourism’s potential is to have an informed tourism market place that can respond to visitor needs.

“With over 80 i-SITEs servicing around 7.5m domestic and international tourists around the country the research shows that the i-SITE network is playing an important role in this area.”

The i-SITE network processes $73.6m of sales. The largest volume (40 per cent) being in accommodation, at $29.8m, followed by activities at $24.8m (34 per cent), and travel at $19.1m (26 per cent).

Mr Yeo says it’s due to the interaction they have with i-SITES that visitors are influenced to make additional purchases directly with local businesses.

“The research indicates that the overall visitor spending facilitated and handled by the i-SITE network is estimated at around $298.5m.

“Around $109.3m of this spending can be directly attributed to the network and would not have taken place if the i-SITEs did not exist.

“This means that for every $1 of direct sales made by the i-SITE network, there is $1.48 total additional spending in the wider economy,” says Mr Yeo.

Through economic modelling, the research demonstrates that the total net economic effect on GDP generated by the i-SITE network to the New Zealand economy is estimated at $146.8m.

Mr Yeo says in most regions, around two-thirds of the GDP generated stays within the region.

“Other key indicators show that the economic effects support 2,200 job equivalents and return $90.2m to households through income.” 

The Economic Impact Analysis of the i-SITE Network report was commissioned by i-SITE New Zealand and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and released in May 2015. The work was led by Market Economics with Colmar Brunton.

For more information please contact:

Paul Yeo – i-SITE New Zealand Executive Manager: M+64 21 403 513 or