Spend­ing rises faster than over­seas vis­i­tor num­bers

The Southland Times - - Business - Chris Hutch­ing

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.

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