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Visitation bouncing back in New Zealand

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Visitation bouncing back in New Zealand
International visitation to New Zealand has returned to around 76 per cent of pre-COVID levels, less than 18 months after the country fully reopened its border.

Over the 2023 calendar year, 2.96 million international arrivals to New Zealand spent NZ$9.9 billion.

The number of visitors is just over three quarters of the visitation recorded in 2019.

The New Zealand Government says the median spend per visitor is almost at parity with 2019 spends. German travellers are spending the most per head on average.

As New Zealand’s largest visitor market, Australians spent the most collectively, but the least per head, based on the data the International Visitor Survey pulls out in New Zealand. The survey breaks visitation into eight geographical segments – Australia, Asia, the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world.

Visitors from the USA spend the most per day per head but have significantly shorter average stays – around 18 days, compared to around 51 days for visitors from Germany.

“While the economy faces significant challenges, tourism will play a critical role in our recovery,” said New Zealand’s tourism and hospitality minister Matt Doocey.

“Rebounding international tourism is fantastic news for communities and businesses who directly benefit from visitor spend. 

“Survey results show that 90 per cent of visitors were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit to New Zealand. These results can be attributed to many dedicated people working in our tourism and hospitality businesses delivering world class experiences.”

“With flight capacity expected to increase and businesses scaling up, the future is looking positive for tourism.”

Data released last week confirmed tourism had returned to second place in the country’s export industries.

Employment in tourism also jumped massively in the year ending March 2023 – there was a 48 per cent increase in the number of people working in tourism compared to a year earlier.

New Zealand’s international board opened fully on July 31, 2022.

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