The economic downturn has started to affect tourism in New Zealand with visitor numbers from China down 28.5 % in August compared to the same period last year.
Whilst some of this may be attributed to the Olympic games it’s worth noting that over the last 3 months visits were down 21.7%.
Much of the decrease has been attributed to the high costs of travel and restricted airline capacity. Over $7 million was invested recently in a marketing campaign aimed at China, specifically Shanghai.
But it’s not just the Chinese visitors staying away, figures from the USA and Europe have also declined contributing to an overall decrease of 1.4% for August compared to the same month last year.
Tourism is a major sector of the NZ economy, contributing 5.1% of the GDP. The total tourist expenditure in the country was estimated to be $20.1 billion in the year to March 2007, of which $11.3 billion was domestic.
5.8% of the total number of people employed in the country work in tourism.
National Business Review, Tues 23 Sept
NZ Government Stats