Stay longer, Tourism NZ urges

Stay longer, Tourism NZ urges
By admin

Tourism New Zealand will step up efforts to encourage longer stay visitors as a rise in arrivals masks an underlying issue of declining visitor spend.
Overseas arrivals in the 12 months ending March climbed 4.4% – Australia climbed 5.1% to 1.68 million – but total expenditure was flat, with some markets showing a fall.
Tourism chief executive Kevin Bowler, speaking to international media on the opening morning of TRENZ, said the increase in overseas visitors was “not a bad result”.
But the figures hide “what is really important” – the number of “stay days”, he said,
“We’ve been flat for some time,” he said, “Arrivals growing and stay days flat tells us the average length of stay had been falling so that’s a signal that we have work to do.”
Stay days show a direct correlation to expenditure, he said.
Releasing figures today, Peter Ellis, tourism research and evaluation minister at the ministry of economic development, said the Rugby World Cup also disguised the downward trend.
“Rugby World Cup visitors spent $390 million in total, of which around $280 million was estimated to be a net addition to tourism exports. This was a significant counter to the decreased total expenditure from other markets,” he said. “However, the figures continue the significant decline in real tourist expenditure of the past seven years.”
The increasing market share of “low-spending Australian residents” visiting friends and relatives was partly to blame, he said.
The continued rise in total spend by Chinese tourists was “the main positive note from this survey,” he added.
But Bowler said China too was a worry.
“While arrivals are growing healthily we are not getting the growth in stay days and that’s where the value sits,” he said. “It’s not just about more people arriving. It’s getting them to arrive and stay longer. That’s the most important piece of the China puzzle.”

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