Tourism Electronic Card Transaction spend for October 2021 released

December 02, 2021

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.

Key Points

Domestic TECT spend in the year-ended October 2021 was up 18% from 2020

Domestic tourism electronic card transaction (TECT) spend was up 18% in the year-ended October 2021 compared to the same period last year. Domestic TECT spend was also up 12% on pre-COVID levels in the year ended October 2019.

While the year-ended October 2021 domestic spend increased from a year ago, monthly domestic spend decreased. Monthly domestic TECT spend for October 2021 was down 22% on October 2020. The decrease can be attributed to highly restricted travel into and within Auckland, and the rest of the country being in Alert Level 2.

International spend remained low. International spend was down 60% on the October 2020 year (which included the 2019/20 summer season pre-border closure), and 73% down on 2019. Spend in the month of October 2021 saw a 11% decline on October 2020.

Food and beverage services drove growth domestic tourism card spend

Higher spend in food and beverage services (up 25%) was the main driver of growth in domestic tourism electronic card expenditure in the year-ended October 2021. Retail sales and accommodation services followed suit, both up by 17% compared with the previous year (as shown in Table 1).

Table 1: Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend for the year to October 2021 compared to previous years, by product

Product Percent change in domestic tourism electronic card spend
Year to October-2020 Year to October-2019
Food and beverage serving services 25% 15%
Retail sales 17% 15%
Accommodation services 17% 2%
Cultural, Recreation and gambling services 11% 10%

Source: Tourism Electronic Card Transactions, MBIE

Strong annual growth in domestic spend in all regions

Domestic TECT spend increased in all regions in the year-ended October 2021 compared with the same periods in 2019 and 2020. The impact of the Delta outbreak and higher Alert Level settings in domestic tourism is becoming evident. Auckland showed the slowest growth on year-ended October 2020 (up 11%) and was the only region with a decline (down 5%) on year-ended October 2019. As shown in Table 2, the strongest increases were in Tasman, Marlborough and West Coast compared to year-ended October 2020.

Table 2: Percentage change in tourism electronic card spend for the year-ended October 2021 compared to previous years, for selected regions

Region Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend Percentage change in international tourism electronic card spend
Year to October-2020 Year to October-2019 Year to October-2020 Year to October-2019
Tasman 41% 39% -76% -80%
Marlborough 34% 34% -76% -80%
West Coast 30% 39% -91% -94%
Nelson 30% 23% -63% -67%
Auckland 11% -5% -51% -66%

Source: Tourism Electronic Card Transactions, MBIE

Monthly domestic TECTs continue to contract compared to the level a year ago. The impact of alert level restrictions was reflected in a double-digit decline in the domestic TECT spend for all regions for October 2021, compared to the same month in 2019 and 2020 (as shown in Table 3). Auckland showed the sharpest decline in domestic spend (down 60% from a year ago) in October 2021.

Table 3: Percentage change in tourism electronic card spend for the month October 2021 compared to previous years, for selected regions

Region Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend Percentage change in international tourism electronic card spend
Year to October-2020 Year to October-2019 Year to October-2020 Year to October-2019
Auckland -60% -59% -44% -80%
Waikato -40% -27% -27% -77%
Northland -38% -16% -25% -71%
Nelson -17% 3% 5% -72%
Auckland -12% -3% 26% -58%

Source: Tourism Electronic Card Transactions, MBIE

Caution in using the TECT data

We recommend users do not add domestic and international totals together. They should be used separately. This is due to electronic card transactions (ECTs) in each market representing a different proportion of total tourism spend, meaning they are not additive. More information can be found here.

The Sustainable Tourism Explorer has been updated with the new TECT data

TECT data is now available in the STE in the form of interactive graphs. As well as visualising the data, you also have the ability to customise the graphs and can download them and the related data. Pivot tables are still available in the usual link to the TECT website.

The latest TECT data can be found in the Sustainable Tourism Explorer in the reliance on tourism section of the region area. Breakdowns include: