International visitor spending climbed 7.4%, while the total number of international visitors rose 5%, the latest Tourism Satellite Account from Statistics New Zealand shows.
“This shows the industry is achieving its Tourism 2025 goal of growing value faster than volume,” TIA Policy and Research Manager Simon Wallace says.
“It also puts the industry well on the way to achieving total tourism revenue of $41 billion by 2025.”
Mr Wallace noted that the figures show the tourism industry is recovering from the global financial crisis, with international spend now back at 2007 levels.
“There’s no room for complacency. We need to build on the momentum and seek out the opportunities offered by events like the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2017 World Masters Games to encourage increased spending by international visitors.”
The statistics also provide a more accurate picture of spending by international students studying in New Zealand for less than 12 months. These students are spending $1.9 billion a year, up 8.7%.
Tourism 2025 highlighted that there were untapped opportunities to grow the value of international students to New Zealand and there will continue to be a focus on this sector, Mr Wallace says.
“It’s also clear that the industry needs to put greater effort into encouraging New Zealanders to travel more within their own country. Domestic spend has grown only 3.2%, slightly below the Tourism 2025 target of 4% a year,” he says.
“Domestic tourism is the bread and butter for many operators and more emphasis needs to be placed on giving Kiwis more reasons to holiday at home.”
Tourism continues to support 8.3% (166,800) of all New Zealand jobs. 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.
The new Tourism Satellite Account data, along with other key tourism statistics, will be presented at the 2014 TIA Summit in Wellington on Tuesday 4 November, to give delegates a detailed update on Tourism 2025 progress.