Newly-Published Government Statistics Show Just How Important Chinese Outbound Tourism Has Become to New Zealand’s Economy
- Posted by Christopher Ledsham
- On 9th November 2016
- arrivals, expenditure, new zealand, Statistics
A recent set of statistics published by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has revealed the extent to which Chinese outbound travellers are driving growth in the country’s tourism sector, an industry that has established itself as a key export in New Zealand.
In the year ending September 2016, New Zealand welcomed a record high of 3.4 million total tourist arrivals, a year-on-year increase of 11%. Chinese outbound tourists were the second highest national group among this total, amounting to 406,000 arrivals, which was notably 24% higher than the previous year’s total.
While this figure is still much smaller than the 1.4 million Australian arrivals from the same period, Chinese tourists are spending far more per head than tourists from other countries. The government’s new statistics shows that in the 12 months ending June 2016, for example, total Australian tourist expenditure in New Zealand amounted to 2.5 billion NZD (ca. 1.8 billion USD), while Chinese tourist receipts from the same period totalled 1.8 billion NZD (ca. 1.3 billion USD). Therefore, Chinese visitors to New Zealand outspent their Australian counterparts by 3,222 USD to 1795 USD per person.
The boost in Chinese tourist arrivals to New Zealand has helped offset the stagnating rates of the country’s dairy exports to China, which have suffered on account of a weakened demand for milk powder and a general oversupply of the product in the global market. This means that the tourism industry’s total takings of 14.5 billion NZD (ca. 10.6 billion USD) in the year ending March 2016 – which made up 20.7% of New Zealand’s total export earnings – have seen tourism overtake dairy produce as the country’s most valuable export. Accordingly, tourism directly contributed 12.9 billion NZD (ca. 9.4 billion USD) to the domestic economy and an additional 9.8 billion NZD (7.2 billion USD) indirectly, representing 5.6% and 4.3% of national GDP respectively. Furthermore, tourism directly employs close to 190,000 people in New Zealand, which represents 7.5% of the total workforce.
The New Zealand Government also anticipating continued growth in Chinese outbound tourism to have a strong impact on the country’s tourism industry, which accounted for 14.5 billion NZD (ca. 10.6 billion USD) in the year ending March 2016 and made up 20.7% of New Zealand’s total export earnings. The recent MBIE statistics forecast that, by the year 2022, New Zealand will see 921,000 annual Chinese arrivals, who will account for 5.3 billion NZD (ca. 3.9 billion USD) of a total tourism expenditure of 16 billion NZD (ca. 11.7 billion USD).
While New Zealand continues to gain more interest from Chinese tourists – especially in the face of perceived safety threats in a number of popular European destinations – the country still faces a number of challenges that must be overcome in order to continue to attract both new and repeat visitors. This not only includes simple issues, such as a lack of hotel rooms, but also the need to adapt its tourism products to better suit the needs of increasingly independent travellers from China.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.
With COTRI’s insights you can forge a successful business strategy built upon in-depth market expertise, comprehensive qualitative analysis and future projections. The Autumn 2016 Edition of the COTRI Market report features in-depth exploration of the developing trends in the field, supported by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative statistical research.