Overview of Tourism Spend in New Zealand

January 15, 2019

This article was produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The content you find below is exclusive to the Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre.

Tourism Spend in New Zealand

Currently, the New Zealand government publishes three different datasets related to tourism spend in New Zealand. Below you have a description of each one of them and how they can be used to estimate tourism spend.

International Visitor Survey (IVS)

The main purpose of the IVS, a Tier 1 statistic produced quarterly by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), is to estimate international spend in New Zealand. It also measures the characteristics and behaviours of international visitors, and spend by country.

At the national level, the IVS aims at surveying 8,900 travellers per year to achieve a 5% margin of error on the spend figure. You can find the latest release of the IVS here as well as more details about the survey methodology here.

Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)

The TSA is produced annually by the Stats New Zealand and provides a picture of the role tourism plays in New Zealand. TSA figures for expenditure are derived from multiple datasets, including the IVS, the cruise ship expenditure and electronic card transactions (Paymark and Bank of New Zealand). You can find more information about it in the methodology section of 2018’s release. Similarly to IVS, the TSA figures estimate tourism spend at national level only, for international and domestic visitors.

Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs)

The MRTEs are produced monthly and provide an estimate of regional monthly expenditure in tourism from both international and domestic consumers. It is calculated using electronic card transaction data, the IVS and the TSA. You can find more details about it at the MRTE’s methodology page. As its name indicates, the MRTEs can be used to estimate tourism spend at the national, RC, TA and RTO levels, for international and domestic visitors. Find the latest MRTE release here.