Quick Facts & Figures

Tourism by the Numbers

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism made a huge contribution to the New Zealand economy: 

  • Total annual tourism expenditure is $40.9 billion  $112 million per day. 
  • Annual international tourism expenditure is $17.2 billion – $47 million per day. 
  • Annual domestic tourism expenditure is $23.7 billion – $65 million per day. 
  • Total annual tourism expenditure has increased by $13.8 billion, or 50%, in the past six years. 
  • Tourism is New Zealand’s biggest export industry, contributing 20.4% of total exports. 
  • Tourism generates a direct annual contribution to GDP of $16.2 billion, or 5.8%, and a further indirect contribution of $11.2 billion, another 4% of New Zealand’s total GDP.  
  • 229,566 people are directly and another 163,713 indirectly employed in tourism in New Zealand – 14.4% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand. 
  • The annual GST paid by tourists is $3.8 billion, including $1.8 billion collected from international visitors.  

Source: Statistics NZ Tourism Satellite Account year ended March 2019 (issued December 2019). 


Other Data Sources

International Travel and Migration (ITM), Statistics NZ

International arrivals by market, arrivals card based, released monthly. Includes breakdown by visitor type (holiday, visiting friends or relatives, business, education, conference, other). Approximately 50% of visitors are holidaymakers and Tourism New Zealand usually refers to this subset of arrivals rather than the total.

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.

Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM), Stats NZ/MBIE

The accommodation survey is no longer produced by Statistics NZ. The last results published were for the September 2019 month. Historical data shows regional guest nights in commercial accommodation up to September 2019. It did not include B&Bs or holiday houses and other non-commercial accommodation.