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Earthquakes, rugby influence regional tourism statistics

Earthquakes, rugby influence regional tourism statistics

New Regional Tourism Estimates show strong regional patterns in tourism spending in 2011, a year heavily influenced by the Rugby World Cup and the Canterbury earthquakes.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Regional Tourism Estimates, released today, show international and domestic travellers spent $15.1 billion in 2011, up five percent from 2010.

The regions with the highest increase in tourism expenditure were Dunedin and Timaru, up 11 percent, Auckland and Waitaki, up 10 percent, and Waikato, up by nine percent.

Tourism Research and Evaluation Manager Peter Ellis says the Christchurch earthquake had a big impact on regional differences within tourism during 2011.

“Tourism spending in Christchurch dropped by ten percent to $1.8 billion, led by a 22 percent fall in international visitor nights.

“But nearby regions like Timaru, Dunedin and Waitaki saw increases in tourism spending, a likely result of more domestic flows from Christchurch following the February earthquake.

“Auckland’s good year for tourism was largely a result of the Rugby World Cup.”

Key statistics in the Regional Tourism Estimates include:

  • There were a 105.1 million international and domestic visitor nights in 2011, up three percent from 2010. Auckland had 24.9 million visitor nights, up six percent; Christchurch 12.1 million visitor nights, down seven percent; and Wellington had 7.3 million visitor nights, up seven percent.
  • International and domestic travellers spent $15.1 billion in 2011, up five percent from 2010. Visitors to Auckland spent $4.7 billion, up 10 percent; visitors spent $1.8 billion in Canterbury, down 10 percent; and visitors to Wellington spent $1.4 billion, up eight percent.

The Regional Tourism Estimates are a yearly analysis of the Ministry’s domestic and international tourism research and are the best available estimate of regional differences in tourism trends. They do not capture all tourism expenditure, as they exclude international airfares, outbound travel purchases from New Zealand firms, some purchases of tourism-specific goods, and imputed rental on holiday homes. The definitive estimate of tourism’s contribution to the economy is published separately in the Ministry’s Tourism Satellite Account, due to be published in October.

The 2011 Regional Tourism Estimates are available from the Tourism research and data section of our website.