26 November, 2013
NZ tourism sector well placed for significant growth
The rising wealth of neighbouring Pacific Rim countries presents a great opportunity for New Zealand tourism, a new Government report says.
The Tourism Sector Report was today released in Auckland by Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce. The Report is the fifth in a series of seven that make up the NZ Sector Reports Series.
The reports provide detailed information about sectors of the New Zealand economy, and are designed to support the Government’s Business Growth Agenda by improving understanding of the economy.
The Tourism Sector Report shows tourism generates $9.8 billion year in exports to the New Zealand economy, with more than 2.6 million international visitors last year. Though visitor numbers are increasing, there have been significant changes to New Zealand’s international visitor markets.
“There has been steady growth in visitor arrivals from Australia and China. Australian visitors have almost doubled in the 10 years to 2013 to 1.2 million, while visitors from China grew by 31 per cent from 2012-2013 to reach 210,000, Mr Joyce says.
“This year we have seen a recovery in visitor numbers from the United States, which is pleasing.
“The industry has been remarkably resilient in the wake of a number of shocks, including the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes.
“The report highlights the fundamental shift in the type of visitor coming to New Zealand, both in terms of the country they are coming from and the purpose of their visit,” Mr Joyce says.
“Visitors are no longer content with observing; they find more value in experiencing Kiwi culture and interacting with it.
“The tourism sector has to make the most of this opportunity and change the way in which tourism products and attractions are targeted and bundled for each type of visitor need.”
The sector is facing some challenges but the Government is making a significant investment in supporting it through additional investment in marketing, the Tourism Growth Partnership, the China Market Information Programme and international education partnerships.
“One of the strong themes coming from tourism businesses is the need for continual innovation,” Mr Joyce says.
“We need to continually improve the range of products and experiences being offered so when visitors chose their next destination for the complete package, they will look to New Zealand.”
The Government is midway through a five-year Tourism Data Improvement Programme, which is providing new insights into visitor spend through the Regional Tourism Estimates and the improved International Visitor Survey.
The Tourism Sector Report is available at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/business-growth-agenda/sectors-reports-series/tourism-report