WELLINGTON — China is forecast to lead a 48-percent surge in overseas visitor spending in New Zealand by 2021, according to a government report released on May 18.
Total international visitor spending is projected to hit 11.1 billion NZ dollars ($8.25 billion) by 2021, up from 7. 44 billion NZ dollars ($5.53 billion) last year, according to a report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Visitor arrivals were also expected to increase from 2.85 million last year, growing by 4 percent a year to hit 3.75 million in 2021.
While Australia was currently New Zealand’s largest visitor market, with more than 1.2 million visitors in 2014, China was expected to outstrip all other traditional markets by 2021, MBIE general manager institutions and system performance Michael Bird said in a statement.
The Chinese visitor market was maturing and visitors’ travel patterns were changing.
“Chinese visitors are staying longer and spending more, and we expect this trend to continue. Our tourism forecasts predict that China will be New Zealand’s largest market in terms of expenditure within the next seven years,” said Bird.
The report said 265,000 Chinese visitors came to New Zealand last year and that number would more than double to 571,000 by 2021.
While the average daily spending by Chinese visitors would fall from 309 NZ dollars to 238 NZ dollars over the next seven years, that compared with the average daily spending of all tourists falling from 161 NZ dollars last year to 158 NZ dollars by 2021.
The average length of stay of Chinese visitors was forecast to rise from 18 to 28 days, compared with the overall average rising from 20 to 23 days.