ⓘ Tourism in New Zealand

Tourism in New Zealand

ⓘ Tourism in New Zealand

Tourism comprises an important sector of the New Zealand economy, directly contributing NZ.9 billion of the countrys GDP in 2016, as well as supporting 188.000 full-time-equivalent jobs. The flow-on effects of tourism indirectly contribute a further 4.3% of GDP. Despite the countrys geographical isolation, spending by international tourists accounted for 17.1% of New Zealands export earnings. International and domestic tourism contributes, in total, NZ billion to New Zealands economy every year.

New Zealand markets itself abroad as a "clean, green" adventure-playground with typical tourist destinations being nature areas such as Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; while activities such as bungee jumping or whale watching exemplify typical tourist attractions, often marketed primarily to individual and small-group travellers. By far the highest number of New Zealands tourists about 45% come from Australia due to close proximity and relations.

The vast majority of international tourist arrivals to New Zealand come through Auckland Airport, which handled nearly fifteen million passengers in 2013. Two percent of visitors arrived by sea as of 2009. Many international tourists spend time in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Rotorua, and Wellington. Other high-profile destinations include the Bay of Islands, the Waitomo Caves, Aoraki / Mount Cook, and Milford Sound. Many tourists travel considerable distances through the country during their stays, typically using coach lines or hired cars. Though some destinations have seasonal specialities for winter sports, for example, New Zealands southern-hemisphere location offers attractions for off-peak northern-hemisphere tourists chasing or avoiding certain seasons.

Domestic tourism is also important, though expenditure and trip numbers have declined or stagnated in the face of fast-growing international tourism. Domestic tourist spending of NZ$20.2 billion a year still exceeds that of international visitors NZ$11.8 billion. In June 2018 the New Zealand government announced the imposition of a "tourist tax" of around NZ$25 to NZ$35 for international visitors, excluding Australians, many Pacific islanders, and young children. It plans to implement this taxation in 2019 through a newly-proposed electronic travel-registration process.

In November 2012 readers of the UK newspaper The Telegraph voted New Zealand the best country in the world to go to on holiday. The national airline, Air New Zealand, was voted the third-best long-haul carrier.


1.1. International travel Markets

The top 12 countries for international visitor arrivals to New Zealand in terms of their nationality are:

Australia accounts for 39.6 percent of New Zealand visitor arrivals. Broken down by state, New South Wales accounted for 533.681 visitors in 2019, followed by Queensland with 389.359 visitors, and Victoria with 368.710 visitors.

Of the top 12 nationalities, all except China and India are entitled to visa waivers, while all except the UK, Germany and India have non-stop flights to New Zealand.


1.2. International travel Overview

The country is internationally seen as a top holiday destination, shown by receiving awards like being voted most favourite destination by the readers of the Conde Nast Traveler magazine specialising in luxury travels in 2008, though it slipped to second place in 2009, and was also named the best overseas holiday destination in a 2007 The Daily Telegraph poll, the United Kingdoms largest such poll. Since the start of a 2000 advertising campaign by Tourism New Zealand, there has been a 61% increase in the number of Britons coming to New Zealand.

The availability of air travel is a large contributing factor to market growth. After Air New Zealand launched non-stop flights from Auckland to Buenos Aires in December 2015, visitor numbers from Argentina tripled, from 5.400 in 2015 to 15.300 in 2016.

Tourism New Zealand, the countrys official tourism agency, is actively promoting the country as a destination worldwide. Recent activities include a NZ$7 million campaign in China, concentrating on Shanghai, and cooperating to produce a New Zealand tourism layer for Google Earth, the first country to receive such a treatment.

Visitor from 60 countries will require a New Zealand eTA NZ eTA from the 1st of October 2019.


1.3. International travel Environmental impacts

Public concern over the environmental impacts of air travel may threaten tourism growth in New Zealand, as almost all tourists fly long distances to reach New Zealand. However, Ministry of Tourism data predicts a four percent annual growth in tourist numbers in New Zealand, with 3.2 million tourists annually to be reached in 2014.

It is however unclear how New Zealands carbon-neutral policy will affect future tourism – with some researchers arguing that the carbon emissions of tourism are much higher than generally considered, that their offsetting or mitigation will be very difficult, and that this poses a serious threat to the countrys major source of foreign income.


2. Domestic travel

Periodic campaigns are also directed at New Zealanders, urging them to travel within New Zealand instead of overseas, due to a perception by the tourism industry that too many New Zealanders are travelling to Australia or other countries instead of domestically. Perhaps the best-known slogan is "Dont leave town until youve seen the country".

Air travel is a popular way of getting around the country due to the lack of transport alternatives over longer distances, airfares can, due to a lack of competition, cost nearly as much as trips to Australia.

Domestic tourism contributed NZ$14 billion to New Zealands economy as of the year ended March 2013. 31 million day trips and 16.6 million overnight trips were made in the year ended December 2012, a decline of 4% and 6% respectively. However, total spending stayed static, with a 2% decline in day trip spending now at $3.7 billion offset by a 1% increase in overnight spending currently NZ$6.2 billion.


3. Tourist activities

Popular tourist activities in New Zealand include sightseeing, adventure tourism, tramping hiking and camping. To support active travel, New Zealand has numerous walking and hiking paths often created and maintained by the DOC, some of which, like the Milford Track, have huge international recognition. There is also a walking route the length of the country Te Araroa Trail and a proposed New Zealand Cycleway.