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Strong growth from China in a flat year for tourism

China is on the verge of becoming our second-largest tourist market, the latest International Visitor Survey shows.

Produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the International Visitor Survey showed tourist spending was flat at $5.6 billion for the year ending June 2012, despite a five percent increase in visitor numbers to 2.6 million.

The Ministry’s Tourism Research and Evaluation Manager Peter Ellis said China was the standout performer over the past year.

“In the past 12 months spending across traditional markets like the United Kingdom and United States has been flat. If it weren’t for the Rugby World Cup in this period we would have seen a decrease in total visitor spend of well over $200 million."

“However, expenditure from Chinese visitors increased by 27 percent to $522 million. China is now our third-largest tourist market and just shy of the $568 million spent by visitors from the UK."

“China has already overtaken markets like Germany and the United States. It is now just a matter of time before China becomes our second-largest visitor market, behind Australia.”

The International Visitor Survey is based on interviews of 5,200 tourists per year departing from New Zealand airports.


Figure 1 – Expenditure by top five countries

[image] Top 5 expenditure countries YE June 2012. Click to view full screen version.


For more information visit the International Visitor Survey section on our website.


Media contact:

Peter Ellis
Ph: 04 498 7448 or 029 771 0135
Email: peter.ellis@med.govt.nz