New statistics highlight tourism value to Waikato region

One in six (16.6%) jobs held by Waikato District residents are supported by tourism, according to new figures released today by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).

That places the district among one of the most reliant on tourism employment in the country*.

In Hamilton City, one in 14 (7.1%) residents’ jobs are supported by tourism, while the industry supports 12.7% of jobs in the Waipa District, 11.5% in both Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki Districts, 11.4% in Otorohanga District, 10% in Matamata-Piako District, 9.7% in South Waikato District, 9.3% in Waitomo District and 9.8% in Taupo District.

The value of tourism to the Waikato region is highlighted in the Tourism 2014 Election Manifesto, released today.

The Manifesto also highlights that the $1.8 billion a year that international and domestic visitors spend in the Waikato region is equivalent to 10.9% of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).

This highlights that tourism is a significant and valuable part of the region’s economy. But both the Tourism Election Manifesto and Tourism 2025, the industry-led growth framework, show there is plenty of potential to grow tourism even more,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.

“We know that tourism supports regional communities across New Zealand, driving regional economic growth and creating employment opportunities. The interactive employment and regional visitor spend maps we are releasing today will help us clearly demonstrate that to central and local government politicians, business leaders, decision makers and their communities around the country.”

Tourism 2025 also stressed the need for improved insight into the tourism industry, prompting TIA to team with Statistics New Zealand and Lincoln University to produce the new Tourism Employment Atlas and Regional Tourism Expenditure maps.

Across New Zealand, tourism directly supports 110,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs – often in areas where few other opportunities exist. It indirectly supports another 61,300 FTE jobs. Total tourism employment in New Zealand provides 172,100 FTE jobs or 8.8% of total employment in New Zealand.

Tourism employment includes chefs, pilots, shuttle drivers, tour guides, receptionists, managers, raft guides, education providers and cycle hire operators. Tourism also supports a wide range of other businesses such as supermarkets, farmers, builders and accountants.

“These new regional tourism employment and spend figures paint a really clear picture of how the tourism economy benefits every region in the country, and will be incredibly useful in helping TIA members show their local Parliamentary candidates and decision makers the value of the tourism economy,” Mr Roberts says.

To read the full Tourism 2014 Election Manifesto, go to

* The employment statistics are based on full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs held by New Zealand residents. They do not take into account the many short-term overseas visitors who work within the tourism industry from time to time. For more details, including the methodology, visit

For further information, please contact:

Ann-Marie Johnson
Communications Manager
Tourism Industry Association (TIA)
DDI: 04 496 5001

Key Facts

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s biggest export industries, earning $9.8 billion or 16.1% of New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings (year ended March 2013)
Tourism directly and indirectly contributes almost 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) for New Zealand
Tourism directly and indirectly generates 8.8% of total employment in New Zealand or 172,100 full-time equivalent jobs
Tourism in New Zealand is a $65.5 million per day industry. Tourism delivers $26.8 million in foreign exchange to the New Zealand economy each day of the year. Domestic tourism contributes another $38.9 million in economic activity every day
Total tourism expenditure reached $23.9 billion for the year ended March 2013

Visit for more information.