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Tourism spending soars
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  26 October 2016

Tourism Satellite Account: 2016  –  Media Release

Strong growth in overseas visitor numbers, together with a buoyant domestic tourism market, contributed to a record $3.8 billion increase in tourism spending in the past year, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Spending by international tourists in New Zealand in the year ended March 2016 climbed to $14.5 billion – an increase of 19.6 percent – according to the Tourism Satellite Account: 2016. This follows a 17.1 percent increase in the previous year. The number of short-term international visitors increased 10.4 percent over the same period.

“Increasing visitor numbers from across key international markets, on the back of expanding airline and cruise capacity, drove the increase in spending by international tourists,” national accounts senior manager Daniel Griffiths said.

Domestic tourism spending increased 7.4 percent ($1.4 billion) to $20.2 billion. “The increase in domestic spending was particularly strong in the retail, passenger transport, and hospitality sectors,” Mr Griffiths said.

Total tourism expenditure increased 12.2 percent to $34.7 billion, following a 10.3 percent increase in the previous year.

Other key provisional estimates for the year ended March 2016:

  • International tourism expenditure contributed 20.7 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.
  • Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $12.9 billion – 5.6 percent of GDP.
  • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $9.8 billion for tourism – 4.3 percent of GDP.
  • 188,136 people were directly employed in tourism – 7.5 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand.
  • Tourists generated $2.8 billion in GST revenue.

Tourism Satellite Account: 2016 incorporates revisions made to the tourism expenditure series. These revisions have caused changes to the value of tourism expenditure in the New Zealand economy, and affected the official TSA time series back to 1999.

Read Tourism Satellite Account: 2016 online, or order a hard copy from our Information Centre.


For media enquiries contact: Paul Pascoe, Wellington 04 931 4600,
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 26 October 2016

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