Business / Industries

Chinese expected to be New Zealand's biggest tourist spenders by 2021

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-18 13:06

WELLINGTON - China is forecast to lead a 48-percent surge in overseas visitor spending in New Zealand by 2021, according to a government report released on Monday.

Total international visitor spending is projected to hit NZ$11.1 billion($8.25 billion) by 2021, up from NZ$7.44 billion ($5.53 billion) last year, according to a report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Visitor arrivals were also expected to increase from 2.85 million last year, growing by 4 percent a year to hit 3.75 million in 2021.

While Australia was currently New Zealand's largest visitor market, with more than 1.2 million visitors in 2014, China was expected to outstrip all other traditional markets by 2021, MBIE general manager institutions and system performance Michael Bird said in a statement.

The Chinese visitor market was maturing and visitors' travel patterns were changing.

"Chinese visitors are staying longer and spending more, and we expect this trend to continue. Our tourism forecasts predict that China will be New Zealand's largest market in terms of expenditure within the next seven years," said Bird.

The report said 265,000 Chinese visitors came to New Zealand last year and that number would more than double to 571,000 by 2021.

While the average daily spending by Chinese visitors would fall from NZ$309 ($229) to NZ$238 ($177) over the next seven years, that compared with the average daily spending of all tourists falling from NZ$161 ($119) last year to NZ$158 ($117) by 2021.

The average length of stay of Chinese visitors was forecast to rise from 18 to 28 days, compared with the overall average rising from 20 to 23 days.

Also on Monday, the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) forecast New Zealand's tourism industry would need an extra 36,000 full-time equivalent workers by 2025 in addition to 94,100 in the sector now.

"As our visitor mix continues to evolve, shifting towards increasing numbers of visitors from the Asian region and China in particular, we expect increased demands for language skills," TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said.

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