International visitors spend $10.4bn in year to September

International visitor spending has reached a record high of $10.4 billion in the year to September 2017, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis says.

 The latest International Visitor Survey results from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) showed expenditure increased four per cent compared with the year ended September 2016.

 “International visitor spending is up, helped by a boost during the DHL New Zealand Lions Series. UK visitors spent $181 million in the third quarter of 2017, up 104 per cent on same quarter in 2016,” Mr Davis says.

 “We’re also receiving more visitors from the United States, resulting in a 14 per cent jump in spending over the year, to $1.2 billion. 

 “Though international visitor numbers continue to climb, overall expenditure growth has been moderated by the strong New Zealand dollar, which affects the amount visitors spend.

 “MBIE has forecast that visitor numbers and expenditure will see steady growth over the next few years. Annual international visitor spend is predicted to grow 47 per cent by 2023, reaching $15.3 billion.”

 The Government’s priority will be to help manage growth, Mr Davis says.

“We are planning to invest in infrastructure, the conservation estate and training for our tourism sector workers.

“I will be looking at various options as ways of responding to the sudden growth in visitor numbers and ensuring a sustainable funding model for tourism.

“My first step will be to talk to people in the tourism sector so that any funding and investment changes are well informed and meet the needs of the industry.”

 For more information on the International Visitor Survey, visit: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-research-data/ivs