Asian visitors to NZ bounce back

Visitor spending in New Zealand increased by eight per cent during the June quarter of 2006 compared to the same period a year ago. New tourism spending data from Visa International shows previously declining Asian markets, South Korea and Japan, have rebounded to feature as our fourth and fifth biggest spending nations, surpassing Canada and Germany.

The largest spenders in New Zealand in the second quarter of this year include cardholders from the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, South Korea and Japan, collectively accounting for 75 per cent of the total Visa spend by international cardholders.

New Zealands tourism industry will take heart from our latest visitor spending data which demonstrates a healthy growth year on year by tourists to this country. It is also great to see the level of spending by South Korean and Japanese visitors has increased after a slide in the first three months of the year, says Visa Internationals Country Manager for New Zealand, Iain Jamieson.

On top of this resurgence, Asia Pacific cardholders made up 40 percent of the inbound spend and European Union cardholders 36 per cent. The roles were reversed in the March quarter with European Union cardholders making up 46 per cent of the inbound spend, followed by Asia Pacific on 32 percent.

South Koreans also took out the highest average spend per transaction at NZ$369, up from NZ$324 earlier in the year, followed by cardholders from Fiji (NZ$241) and Hong Kong (NZ$236). The overall average spend per transaction was NZ$144, down from NZ$155 in the March quarter.


Our visitors most popular Visa spend categories were transport (22 per cent of total Visa spend), retail goods (18 per cent), accommodation (10 per cent), sports and leisure (eight per cent) and restaurants and groceries (six per cent)1. The top retail merchants were clothing stores, flowers and gifts, and department and discount stores.

Visitors also increased the frequency of their purchases with approximately 2.8 million transactions being recorded in the June quarter, an increase of three per cent over the previous year.