Tourism spending continued to grow throughout most regions in the year to November 2016, providing a solid base ahead of the high summer season, Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says.
According to the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), tourism expenditure grew in most regions over the year to November 2016. The fastest growing region was Nelson, which increased 15 per cent over the year to $337 million, followed by Otago (up 14 per cent to $3.5 billion) and West Coast (up 11 per cent to $475 million).
“Tourism spending has continued its growth trend over this year, and it’s great to see spending so strong before the summer season when tourist numbers are at their highest,” says Mrs Bennett.
“The latest data shows that, overall, the earthquake on 14 November had a limited impact on national tourism expenditure. However it had a significant impact on the total visitor spend in the North Canterbury region.
“The Government has already announced a number of support packages for the earthquake affected areas, underlining our commitment to supporting the local tourism industry.
“As the earthquake occurred midway through November, the full impacts on the regional economies in affected areas are not completely shown. The data for the month of December, due to be released on 26 January, will give a clearer indication of how tourism spending has been affected.”
Key facts for earthquake affected areas:
- Tourism spending in North Canterbury, which includes Kaikoura and Hurunui Districts, saw a 20 per cent fall in tourism spending in November 2016 (to $22 million) compared with November 2015.
- International visitors’ spending in North Canterbury fell 29 per cent in November 2016 (compared with November 2015), while domestic visitor spending fell 13 per cent over the same period.
- In areas adjacent to North Canterbury: Marlborough fell 1 per cent in November 2016 (compared with November 2015); Christchurch increased by 1 per cent; and South Canterbury grew a strong 12 per cent.