Press Release from Minister of Tourism, Hon Paula Bennett
Nearly every region across New Zealand experienced strong growth in tourism spending this summer, Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says.
According to the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the fastest growing regions in December were the West Coast and Taranaki.
In the year to December the fastest growing region was Nelson, which increased 15 per cent over the year to $340 million, followed by West Coast, up 13 per cent to $488 million and Otago up 12 per cent to $3.5 billion.
“It’s fantastic to see the regions really benefiting from strong tourism growth. This spending brings a real boost to local economies, benefiting businesses with increased trade and creating jobs,” Mrs Bennett says.
“While the earthquake last November had a limited overall impact on national tourism expenditure, the latest figures show that tourism spending in Kaikoura has been heavily affected. The Government continues to provide wage subsidy support to local businesses that depend on the summer season.
“Tourism spending in the North Canterbury region, which includes Kaikoura, is slowly starting again, though it is still far below what it normally would be in the December month.
“Other regions in the South Island have recovered well from the impact of the earthquakes in November, some have benefited from traffic being diverted due to the closure of State Highway One. International and domestic tourism spending was at similar or higher levels when compared with December 2015.”
Key facts for earthquake affected areas:
• Tourism spending in North Canterbury, which includes Kaikoura and Hurunui Districts, saw a 28 per cent fall in tourism spending in December 2016 (to $27 million) compared with December 2015.
• International visitors’ spending in North Canterbury fell 48 per cent in December 2016 (compared with December 2015), while domestic visitor spending fell 16 per cent over the same period.
• In areas adjacent to North Canterbury: Marlborough grew four per cent in December 2016 (compared with December 2015); Christchurch grew by two per cent; and South Canterbury grew five per cent.