International visitor spending hit $11.1 billion last year with spectacular growth from the Chinese, highlighting New Zealand’s dependence on the market.
Total spending by internationals rose 6% in the year to December, and the contribution from China was up 14% to $1.68 billion, making it second only to Australia.
The latter remains NZ’s largest source of visitors with almost 1.5 million crossing the Tasman last year, and they spent $2000 each on average, well behind the Germans who racked up an average spend of $6000, the British ($4200) and Chinese ($4100).
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) chief executive Stephen England-Hall said the latest international visitor survey found the amount visitors spent grew at 1.5 times the rate of total arrivals.
Industry sources cite a number of reasons for buoyant spending by the Chinese who accounted for 448,000 of the 3.9 million visitor arrivals in 2018.
Commercial manager at Skyline Queenstown Craig Douglas believes the rise in Chinese travelling independently is driving spending because those on group package tours often have full schedules and rush to fit everything in.
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