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Booming New Zealand tourism growth sees guest nights reach record highs

Lake Wakatipu - Queenstown - EDITED

International visitor guest nights in New Zealand have risen by more than 13 per cent, and 11 of the country’s 12 regions have accommodated more tourists in the latest monthly data released this week says the nation’s Associate Tourism Minister, Paula Bennett.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand show foreign visitors have helped to grow national guest nights for the year ended August 2016 by 6.1 per cent.

“We’ve seen visitor arrivals hit a record 3.36 million, holiday arrivals increasing 13 per cent, and regional tourism spending climbing,” Bennett says.

“This strong growth is reflected in the latest accommodation survey which shows national guests are up 6.4 per cent, domestic guest nights up 2.5 per cent, and international guest nights up 13.4 per cent.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see particularly strong growth in our biggest spending visitors, with hotel stays up 14.8 per cent, compared to holiday park guest nights up 11.1 per cent.

“Investing over $700 million since 2008, this government has shown its strong commitment to ensuring the sector is well equipped and has the infrastructure it needs to support the continued visitor growth.

“As well as the new $3 million Regional Mid-sized Facilities Fund, the Tourism Growth Partnership (TGP) fund has a dedicated regional stream, which will see $4 million in funding for tourism projects in the regions.

“The remaining $4 million of TGP funding will continue to support innovative projects that increase productivity in the tourism sector.

“Tourism makes an important contribution to local communities through jobs and helping local businesses to grow and is critical to New Zealand’s economic success,” Bennett says.

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