By Tourism New Zealand on January 2, 2019


International visitors in New Zealand are spending more while visiting the country, with their spending up 9.6 per cent (NZ$1.4 billion) in the year ending March 2018, according to the Tourism Satellite Account 2018 (TSA) released by Stats New Zealand.

Figures by the TSA also show that the tourism sector in New Zealand contributed NZ$39.1 billion to the country’s economy, and an estimated NZ$16.2 billion of this figure comes from international visitors.

“The spend by our international visitors continues to outgrow visitor arrival numbers at 6.3 per cent versus 3.6 per cent, showing that the value of our visitors is increasing,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall.


“Tourism is the backbone of many communities, providing employment and significant economic contribution, and the tourism dollar is valuable. The spend made at local shops, cafés and community services around the country is helping support and grow our communities and regions.”

According to the TSA, the tourism sector also contributed $1.5 billion of spending on a variety of community services, including doctors, car repairs, and laundromats.

“Tourism New Zealand works to attract visitors who incorporate the regions into their itinerary and visit in the off-peak seasons. It’s fantastic to see this and the work of New Zealand’s wider tourism sector contribute to regional growth,” says Mr England-Hall.

Other key figures from TSA

  • Total international visitor arrivals year-ending September 2018: 3.8 million
  • Total visitor arrival growth year-on-year: 3.6 per cent
  • Total visitor spend growth year-on-year: 6.3 per cent
  • Tourism generated a direct contribution of NZ$15.9 billion to GDP, or 6.1 per cent of GDP
  • 216,012 Kiwis were directly employed in tourism


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