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New Zealand’s Tourism Growing and Thriving
Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry. It employs 7.5 per cent of the entire Kiwi work force and is vital to the continued success of New Zealand’s economy. To understand how lucrative the tourism industry is consider this: for the year ending March 2016, total tourism expenditures were $34.7 billion, an increase of 12.2 per cent from the previous year.
Tourism within New Zealand is a combination of foreign and domestic activity. In 2016, international tourism expenditures increased 17.1 per cent, while the domestic portion increased just over 7 per cent. The industry contributes 5.6 per cent to the country’s GDP, or a total of $12.9 billion. There’s no question that this industry has a positive impact on New Zealand’s economy and it’s forecasted to only get better in the future.
Targeted Tourist Areas
Marketed as a must-see place for people seeking outdoor activities, New Zealand is a popular destination for travelers who want adventure. Popular areas of the country to visit include several destinations on the North Island, including Waikato, the Bay of Plenty and Lake Taupo, and those on the South Island in Christchurch and the West Coast region, where numerous national parks and beautiful natural scenery are located.
Air travel is the most popular way to travel within the country, as there are several airports used for domestic flights. Air New Zealand and Jetstar are the most popular airlines, providing flights between major cities. A flight from Auckland to Queenstown, which spans almost the length of the country, takes just 1 hour and 45 minutes. Passenger train options are rather limited and are considered scenic day-trip journeys, which sometimes can cost more than an airfare.
The latest forecasts provided by The Ministry of Business, Information and Employment are for the 2017-2023 period. According to projections, visitor arrivals to New Zealand are expected to grow 4.8 per cent a year, eventually reaching 4.9 million visitors in 2023, a significant increase from 3.5 million in 2016.
It’s expected that most of these increases will relate to individuals on holiday and those visiting family and friends who are permanent residents of the area. Most visitors to New Zealand come from Australia, which provided more than 1.4 million visitors in 2016.
The Hamilton and Waikato region is geographically and culturally diverse and has many varied activities to offer visitors of all ages. Plenty of hotels, experiences and restaurants await tourists who travel here.
One in six jobs (16.6 per cent) held by Waikato district residents are related to tourism in some way, making it one of the primary areas of New Zealand that’s reliant on tourism to sustain and grow its economy.
Bay of Plenty Tourism
Located on the coast in the Northern part of New Zealand, this area is home to many water-based activities for tourists who enjoy outdoor activities. In February 2017, visitor spending increased to $1.73 billion over the previous 12 months. This is an increase of 7 per cent from the previous year. Spending in January 2016 alone was $232 million, with many visitors traveling from Australia and China for a summer holiday getaway.
Total growth in the area the past three years has been an impressive 45 per cent. Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller notes: to keep tourism numbers up, it’s important to promote, advertise and improve the accommodation provision because this is what will keep visitors coming back.
Tourism specialists in these areas, and in New Zealand as a whole, are optimistic for continued growth of the tourism industry. If numbers continue to go up at the rate they have been for the past three years, tourism spending will continue to increase, creating excellent opportunities for investors.