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Tourism Electronic Card Transaction spend for January 2022 released

March 03, 2022

Key Points

Strong annual growth in domestic TECT spend

Domestic TECT spend was up 10% in the year-ended January 2022 compared with the same period in the previous year. This increase (9%) is similar to the change observed in the year ended January 2020.

Figure 1 shows domestic TECT spend increased in all regions in the year-ended January 2022 compared with the year-ended January 2021. Auckland experienced the lowest annual growth (0.2%), and joins Northland and Waikato as the only regions to experience an annual growth (both up 7%) lower than the national average (up 10%). This could be attributed to a general hesitance to travel due to community transmission of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the upper North Island.

Following the confirmation of community transmission of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, New Zealand moved to the Red traffic light setting at 11.59pm on Sunday 23 January, with no restrictions on inter-regional travel. South Island destinations showed the strongest increases in domestic spend compared with the year-ended January 2021. The Tasman region had the highest annual increase (up 22%) in domestic spend from year-ended January 2021, followed by the Marlborough and Southland (both up 21%) regions. The growth in domestic TECT spend in the Tasman region was mainly driven by the increase in spending in retail services (up 23%) and food and beverages (up 21%).

Monthly domestic card spend recovered to January 2021 levels

Nationwide, monthly domestic TECT spend for January 2022 was up 1% on January 2021 (see Figure 1). The West Coast and Southland regions experienced the largest increase in the domestic tourism spending (up 11% and 10% respectively). Monthly domestic spending in the West Coast region increased by more than half (up 61%) compared with pre-COVID levels in January 2020. The Auckland and Nelson regions saw the biggest decrease in monthly domestic card spend (both down 9%) as compared with January 2021.

Figure 1: Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend for the year-ended and month of January 2022 compared to previous years, by region

Source: Tourism Electronic Card Transactions, MBIE

Retail sales and other tourism products experienced the highest growth in domestic tourism card spend

Most sub-sectors saw an increase in domestic tourism card spend in the year-ended January 2022. Retail sales and other tourism products had the largest increase (both up 12%) in domestic TECT spend in the year-ended January 2022 compared with the previous year. Food and beverage serving services saw a double-digit increase from the same period last year, up by 10%. As shown in Table 1, sub-sectors like accommodation, and cultural and gambling services are yet to recover.

The table below shows that retail sales also saw the largest increase (up 14%) in domestic spend compared prior to COVID-19 restrictions hit the nation in 2020.

Table 1: Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend for the year to January 2022 compared with previous years, by product

Product Percentage change in domestic tourism electronic card spend for year-ended January 2022 compared with...
Year to January 2021 Year to January 2020

Source: Tourism Electronic Card Transactions, MBIE

We advise caution when using the TECT data

We recommend that users do not add domestic and international totals together. They should be used separately, because electronic card transactions (ECTs) in each market represent a different proportion of total tourism spend, meaning they cannot be directly compared. 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:

The next update

Our next stakeholder update highlighting February 2022 results will be in early April.