Tourism New Zealand’s Annual Report highlights the evolution of tourism

Sustainability, social license, community engagement and destination management are now the leading conversations in the tourism sector and Tourism New Zealand is a key player in this evolution.

The recently released Tourism New Zealand Annual Report 2017/2018 outlines the dramatic change in the visitor landscape and the increasing role the organisation is playing to support sustainable growth in the sector.

In the year to June 2018 New Zealand welcomed 3.79 million visitors (up 3.8% on FY17), of which 1.99 million were here on holiday (Tourism New Zealand’s target market).

“While 96% of New Zealanders agree international tourism is good for New Zealand, there are pressure points around accommodating visitor growth. Over the past year we have focused on solutions to these pressures including regional and seasonal dispersal – encouraging visitors to travel in our shoulder seasons (September to November; March to May) and promoting less visited regions,” says Stephen England-Hall, Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive.

“It’s a strategy that is working, with growth in arrivals outside the peak season and spend in our regions up by $373 million over the past year. Encouraging visitors beyond core destination experiences and outside of summer avoids over-tourism. It protects regional identity and resources, kick-starts economic development in the regions and grows the value of visitors. Of course, it takes time and while we have seen growth in the number of people now travelling to New Zealand in shoulder seasons, it is slower than we would like. Driving shoulder season arrivals has been the focus of the Government and industry for many years and shifting consumer preferences continues to be challenging, particularly as high-value travellers tend to travel when a destination is perceived to be at its best.”

Tourism New Zealand exceeded its goal of a 2% differential between international visitor spend in the regions and main centres (gateways) (results: +13.2% vs +9.9 – a 3.3% differential), and for the year to June 2018 an estimated additional $471m had been contributed to our regions.

Highlights of the year included a campaign involving Chinese superstar Nicholas Tse's Chef Nic New Zealand (showcasing the Hawke’s Bay and Taupo) that reached an audience of more than 47m through television, 81m people on social media, and generated $45m in estimated advertising value (EAV); the #GetNZontheMap campaign, which involved Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and comedian Rhys Darby, and garnered 10m video views on social media and significant global media coverage ($10m in EAV); and the #KiaoraNZ campaign, which encouraged organic, authentic interaction between New Zealanders and international visitors online. 

“To be truly productive, inclusive and sustainable we must consider the visitor economy as more than just arrival numbers and spend. To this end, Tourism New Zealand has evolved our approach to look more closely at the ‘voice of the visitor’, monitoring visitors’ experience and satisfaction, and those of New Zealanders. Tourism should enrich New Zealand and it is vital that New Zealanders value the role of tourism in their local communities. FY18 has been a strong year for Tourism New Zealand and for tourism in New Zealand, and we continue to support the sector to ensure tourism enriches New Zealand now and into the future,” says Mr England-Hall.

Read the 2017/18 Tourism New Zealand Annual Report.

Top line results:

  • $11.1 billion contributed to the New Zealand economy by international visitors
  • 3.79 million visitors to New Zealand
  • 1.99 million holiday arrivals to New Zealand
  • 5.6% increase in shoulder season holiday arrival growth
  • $3,800 spent on average by each visitor to New Zealand
  • 22 million active visits to
  • 8.8 million referrals to tourism businesses from
  • 3 million followers on Facebook
  • $287.7 million equivalent advertising value of print, online, and broadcast in Tourism New Zealand media activities
  • 86 bids supported through the Conference Assistance Programme (estimated value of $124.9 million)
  • 25:1 return on investment in markets on partnership campaigns
  • 7000 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists (with a further 20,000 registered in the programme)