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Tourism expenditure

The major focus of the TSA is to identify and measure tourism expenditure on goods and services produced within the New Zealand economy.

By determining tourism expenditure, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP can be derived, and compared with the contribution of other industries such as agriculture or manufacturing.

Table 9 presents tourism expenditure (or direct tourism demand) by type of product.

Download tables 1–16 (Excel, 16 sheets, 154kb)

Table 9 shows that for the year ended March 2016:

  • Total tourism expenditure increased 12.2 percent, following increases of 10.3 percent in 2015 and 4.1 percent in 2014.
  • The strongest percentage increases in tourism expenditure were in:
    • food and beverage serving services, increasing 16.1 percent ($540 million)
    • cultural, recreation, and gambling services, increasing 15.1 percent ($150 million)
    • retail sales – other, increasing 15.0 percent ($844 million).

Figure 10 presents the share of tourism expenditure (excluding GST).

The main products tourists purchased related to retail sales and passenger transport, contributing 34.9 percent and 28.8 percent, respectively. Tourists spent 20.4 percent of their budget on accommodation, and food and beverage serving services. They spent 13.1 percent on other tourism products and services (see figure 10).

Figure 10
Figure, Share of tourism expenditure by type of product.


Table 10 presents tourism expenditure by type of product and by type of tourist for the years ended March 2013–16. The tourism product ratio is the proportion of total supply (national production plus imports) of each product that tourists purchase.

Download tables 1–16 (Excel, 16 sheets, 154kb)


Table 10 shows that for the year ended March 2016:

  • Total household tourism expenditure increased 8.3 percent, following an increase of 6.6 percent the previous year.
  • The increase in household tourism expenditure was strongest in ‘retail sales – other’, up $272 million. Food and beverage serving services increased $171 million from the previous year with ‘retail sales – alcohol, food and beverages’ increasing $134 million.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, total household tourism spending increased 19.1 percent. Over the same period, total household consumption expenditure increased 10.5 percent.
  • Total spending by international tourists in New Zealand increased 19.6 percent, following an increase of 17.1 percent in the March 2015 year and an increase of 4.5 percent in the March 2014 year.
  • The increase in international tourism expenditure was strongest in ‘retail sales – other’, up $572 million. Food and beverage serving services increased $355 million from the previous year, and air passenger transport increased $241 million.

Figure 11 presents the share of tourism demand (excluding GST).

Figure 11
Graph, Share of tourism demand by type of product and type of tourist.

As figure 11 shows, the biggest share of domestic demand was retail sales, at 37.7 percent, while international tourism’s demand of retail represented only 31.1 percent of international spending. International tourists spent the remainder of their budget primarily on passenger transport (26.7 percent) and accommodation, food, and beverage serving services (26.7 percent).

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