Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor today welcomed new figures showing continued growth in spending by international visitors to New Zealand. Tourism Ministry data released today estimates total international visitor expenditure in New Zealand to be $6.4 billion in 2006, up 4 per cent on the previous year.
“The data provides strong evidence that even in the face of a high currency the tourism industry continues to earn real wealth for New Zealand,” Mr O’Connor said.
Mr O’Connor said individual tourism businesses were to be commended for supporting such a high level of activity.
“It’s a massive effort. $6.4 billion equates to a huge amount of flights, nights in accommodation, restaurant meals and visitor activities.
“All of these products and services are provided on a one-to-one basis, with nearly two and half million international visitors throughout the year.”
Mr O’Connor said that with the New Zealand Tourism Strategy update well underway, the objective was to further build this contribution from tourism.
“I believe that the industry is very well placed to take on this challenge.”
New Zealand’s top three markets continue to spend strongly. Australia $1.5 billion, United Kingdom $950 million and the USA $700 million.
The North Asia markets of China and South Korea also increased their spending after a recent dip.