A strong summer for tourism builds on a bumper year

  • Half a million international visitors estimated to arrive in the next two months
  • Total tourism expenditure was $26.5 billion for year ended March 2022
  • International tourism expenditure increased 30.6 percent ($455 million) to $1.9 billion for year ended March 2022
  • GST generated from international tourists totalled $209 million, an increase of $72 million for year ended March 2022
  • Around 470,000 to 530,000 international visitors are estimated to arrive in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington airports in January and February 2023.

“New Zealand is proving to be an attractive destination for overseas visitors. Our regions have already seen a boost in tourism spend and this looks set to continue in the summer months,” Stuart Nash said.

Spending by international tourists increased 30.6 percent in the year to March 2022, with the borders now fully open we are looking forward to seeing another large jump by year end March 2023. 

The total tourism expenditure recorded in the March 2022 year was $26.5 billion, an increase of $704 million from the previous year.

“We expect an increase into the coming year of the number of people directly employed in tourism with over 20,000 working holiday visa holders having arrived in New Zealand. 

“In the year ended March 2022, tourism directly employed 145,032 people. Compared with the previous year, this was an increase of 3,615 people. It’s a fantastic career choice and we hope to see more kiwis join this industry.”

When compared to New Zealand’s main export commodities for the quarter (July-September 2022), tourism’s contribution to our economy compares to fruit, which was the fourth highest with an export value of $1.1 billion, and was larger in value than wine ($667m).”

“The return of international tourists is fantastic for jobs and growing the economy. We are also focused on making sure that the return to high tourism numbers is environmentally sustainable and has a lower impact on our natural landscape than it has in the past.

“One of the Government’s newest programmes, the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan will make sure tourism gives back more than it takes from people and place

“The first phase was focused on “better work” by strengthening the tourism workforce through offering a more attractive career pathway. I look forward to sharing the results of that work through the Better Work Action Plan in early 2023.

“The next phase will be focused on the environment and include addressing the environmental challenges the industry faces, such as reducing emissions and better regenerative practices,” said Stuart Nash.