Spending rises faster than overseas visitor numbers
Tourism has become the backbone of many communities, providing work and significant economic contribution, according to Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall.
‘‘Tourism is a dynamic sector that offers a range of careers. It’s fantastic to see so many Kiwis gaining skills and experience.’’
New data released yesterday showed tourism directly employed 216,000 New Zealanders and contributed $39.1 billion to the economy.
The figures also showed that international tourist spending was rising faster than the number of overseas visitors, who contributed $16b of the total amount spent.
Spending grew at 7.7 per cent over the previous year while visitor numbers increased at 3.6 per cent.
The spending boosted turnover at local shops, cafes and community services, including doctors, car repairs, and laundromats.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa communications manager Ann-Marie Johnson said it was a continuation of the spectacular growth enjoyed in recent years.
The Tourism Satellite Account is the official annual measurement of the tourism industry, compiled by Statistics New Zealand. It includes spending, the number of people employed directly and indirectly, tourism’s share of export earnings, and its contribution to GDP.
Yesterday’s figures show that the annual tourism spend is now $10.5b a year more than it was in 2014 – an extra $29m a day being spent in communities across New Zealand.
Tourism now provides 20.6 per cent of total exports. It makes a direct contribution to GDP of 6.1 per cent and a further indirect contribution of 4.3 per cent.
In addition to the 216,000 people directly employed, a further 149,304, or 13.5 per cent of the workforce, are indirectly employed. ‘‘It means that a career in tourism is a viable and stable choice for young people,’’ Johnson said.
In 2014, the association set a goal of being a $41b industry by 2025.