Tourism by the numbers
Key tourism stats for year to March 2022
- total tourism expenditure was $26.5 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent ($704 million) from the previous year
- tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $10 billion, or 3 percent of GDP, an increase of 1.3 percent ($132 million)
- international tourism expenditure increased 30.6 percent ($455 million) to $1.9 billion
- domestic tourism expenditure increased 1 percent ($249 million) to $24.6 billion
- household tourism expenditure decreased 1.7 percent ($344 million)
- business and government increased 14.2 percent ($593 million)
- overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand increased 335.3 percent to 229,370
- international student expenditure (studying less than 12 months) was $184 million, an increase of 135.7 percent ($106 million)
- international tourism’s overall contribution to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services was 2.4 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage points
- GST generated from international tourists totalled $209 million, an increase of $72 million
- the indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $6.6 billion, or 2 percent of GDP
- the number of people attributed to being directly employed in tourism was 145,032 – an increase of 2.6 percent (3,615 people)
- the number of tourism employees was 125,622 – an increase of 3.2 percent (3,888)
- the number of tourism working proprietors was 19,413 – a decrease of 1.4 percent (267)
- as a share of the total number of people employed in New Zealand, direct tourism employment was 5.2 percent.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism made a huge contribution to the New Zealand economy
- Total annual tourism expenditure was $41.9 billion – $115 million per day.
- Annual international tourism expenditure was $17.5 billion – $48 million per day.
- Annual domestic tourism expenditure was $24.4 billion – $67 million per day.
- Total annual tourism expenditure had increased by almost $15 billion, or 55%, in the past seven years.
- Tourism was New Zealand’s biggest export industry, contributing 20.1% of total exports.
- Tourism generated a direct annual contribution to GDP of $16.4 billion, or 5.5%, and a further indirect contribution of $11.3 billion, another 3.8% of New Zealand’s total GDP.
- 225,384 people are directly and another 158,802 indirectly employed in tourism in New Zealand – 13.6% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand.
- The annual GST paid by tourists is $3.9 billion, including $1.8 billion collected from international visitors.
Source: Statistics NZ Tourism Satellite Account year ended March 2019 (issued December 2020).
Other Data Sources
International Travel, Stats NZ
Monthly international travel updates cover the number and characteristics of overseas visitors, and New Zealand resident travellers (short-term movements) entering or leaving New Zealand.
International Visitor Survey (IVS), MBIE
Estimated annual spend by market, survey based, released quarterly. Does not include Air New Zealand fares or short stay students. Estimates by market can fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter.
Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs), MBIE
Estimated regional spend by domestic and international markets, electronic transactions based, released monthly. Does not include Air New Zealand fares and other spending captured in the Tourism Satellite Account. Monthly estimates by region can fluctuate; annual estimates have a higher degree of certainty.
The Accommodation Data Programme (ADP) provides information about short-term accommodation activity at national, regional and lower levels. It estimates the guest nights, occupancy rates and other measures relating to the accommodation industry.