Spending by tourists will rise to NZ$14.2 billion (USD 10 billion) by 2023 from NZ$10.6 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest annual forecasts published Tuesday in Wellington. That’s 7.7% less than the NZ$15.34 billion expected in last year’s projections.
Tourism has overtaken dairy as New Zealand’s top foreign exchange earner, boosted by a surge in arrivals from China, which is projected to overtake Australia as the biggest spender by 2024. But growth from China hasn’t been as strong as previously expected, with arrivals increasing just 2 percent in 2017. Last year, officials forecast China would take the top ranking in 2021.
“Poorer-than-expected results for 2017 in Chinese arrivals and spend estimates have led to a significant revision in forecasts,” the ministry said in the report.
The ministry projects spending by Chinese visitors will rise to NZ$2.82 billion in 2023, which is 35 percent less than the NZ$4.35 billion projected in last year’s report.
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