International attraction for New Zealand continues to grow, pushing its tourism industry at the top of its export earners as it contributed $14.5—billion into the economy and directly employing over 188,000 people for the year ending March 2016.
Recent statistics show that more than 3.38 million international visitors visited New Zealand in the year ending September 2016. More than 885,000 visitors were from Asia, with visitors from the Philippines accounting for 18,208 of the total figure—an increase of 37-percent from September 2015.
Steven Dixon, Regional Manager, South and South East Asia at Tourism New Zealand, says, “Tourism benefits all New Zealanders and the level of growth we are achieving is presenting huge opportunities that are ripe for the picking.”
The impact of tourism spend is far ranging, benefiting retail owners, supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants and cafes in addition to accommodation and travel spend. One in 13 New Zealanders are now directly employed in the tourism industry and this will increase as visitor numbers continue to grow.”
Tourism New Zealand has also estimated that the number of overseas visitors to New Zealand will double in seven years at the current rate of growth.
On the increasing number of international visitors, Dixon says that New Zealand is seeing the highest level of international tourism expenditure on record and the figure is set to increase.
“Extremely successful Middle earth campaigns and a deep focus on digital media helped drive significant growth in visitor numbers,” he said.
“Over the last year, we have been really focused on attracting visitors in the shoulder seasons to spread visitor numbers more evenly across the entire year.
“We invested 100-percent of our marketing dollars into travel outside peak periods and as a result, the combined percentage growth for autumn 2015 and spring 2016 was considerably higher than the summer growth.”
Citing increased air capacity as a major contributor to the rising number of Filipino tourists, ixon added that Tourism New Zealand is also seeking to strengthen tourism ties between New Zealand and the Philippines.
Towards this end, Tourism New Zealand has launched initiatives such as the trade training for tourism operators, which bring together travel sellers and tourism operators from both countries.
“This allows us to raise awareness of New Zealand’s travel offerings and to equip local travel sellers with superior knowledge of New Zealand to help them plan exciting holidays for their customers,” said Dixon.