The critical importance of the tourism industry to the New Zealand economy has been reinforced by the latest statistics.
Tourism Satellite Account figures released by Stats NZ show that total annual tourism spend has reached $40.9 billion, an increase of 4% or $1.6 billion on the previous year.
International visitors spend is up by 5.2% to $17.2 billion, while domestic visitors spend is up by 3.3% to $23.7 billion.
The TSA is the official annual measurement of the New Zealand tourism industry. It includes measures of tourism spend by international and domestic visitors, the number of people employed through tourism, tourism’s share of export earnings and its contribution to New Zealand’s GDP.
229,566 people are directly employed and another 163,713 indirectly employed in tourism in New Zealand – 14.4% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand.
“The total tourism workforce has grown by 20,000 people in the past year. That means one in seven people in our workforce is now working directly or indirectly in tourism,” says TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts.
Tourism remains New Zealand’s largest export earner, providing 20.4% of New Zealand’s total export receipts. It makes a direct contribution to GDP of 5.8% and a further indirect contribution of 4%.
The Government is the largest direct beneficiary from tourism. Annual GST receipts are $2 billion from domestic visitors and $1.8 billion from international visitors.
In 2014, through its Tourism 2025 Growth Framework, the industry set a goal of being a $41 billion industry by 2025.
“With that number already in sight, earlier this year the goal was raised to $50 billion - incorporated into a sustainability framework that also sets goals for visitor satisfaction, environmental protection and enhancement, and community support.”
“The industry is working together to create sustainable sectors that actively improve and enhance New Zealand, rather than focusing purely on growth. However, it’s great to see the value of the industry continuing to increase.”