Chinese tourists to spend more in NZ

Updated: 2011-09-20 15:14


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Chinese tourists are expected to spend more money in New Zealand and will overtake United States and British tourists in spending by mid-2012, according to official estimates released on Sept 20.

The Ministry of Economic Development's updated New Zealand Tourism Forecasts for 2011-2016 show Chinese tourists will spend NZ$604 million ($495 million) in 2013, easily overtaking the expenditure of US and UK tourists.

Not until 2014, however, will the number of Chinese tourists exceed those of the UK and US.

Australia will still be New Zealand's largest market by a considerable margin, with NZ$1.9 billion ($1.56 billion) expenditure forecast for 2016.

The forecast said the long-term strength of the New Zealand dollar and the poorly performing UK and US economies were the main reasons for the stable numbers from those countries.

In contrast, Chinese tourism is increasing globally and the New Zealand industry is seeing the benefits.

The impact of the Christchurch earthquake has had significant impact on the South Korean and Japanese markets. Meanwhile, new airline connections had seen a significant increase in Malaysian arrivals.

"The outlook for the next five years is strong, but the origin of tourists we are hosting is changing. The forecasts show strong growth from China and promising emerging markets like Malaysia," said Liz MacPherson, tourism deputy secretary at Ministry of Economic Development.

The forecasts show that tourism spending from all countries will have increased from NZ$5.8 billion ($4.75 billion) this year to NZ$6.6 billion ($5.4 billion) by 2016. A total of 3 million tourists will visit New Zealand in 2016.