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Tourism Recovery Insights data pack - 5 July

July 05, 2022

The Tourism Recovery Insights data pack provides commentary on the latest real-time data on the border and visitors.

Data Purpose Source Latest data Slide
Daily border crossings Based solely on border crossings into and out of New Zealand, these data do not incorporate arrival card information so no breakdown of traveller type StatsNZ 28 June 2022 1. Border arrivals from Australia continue to recover towards 2019 levels
2. Queenstown Airport now leads all airports in recovery to 2019 levels
Weekly visitor arrivals Short-term overseas visitor data from arrival card information StatsNZ 12 June 2022 3. Business and holiday visitor arrivals continue to increase
4. Australian visitor arrivals recovering faster than total border arrivals compared with 2019 levels
Consumer spend data Uses electronic card data as indicator of change in expenditure patterns in the economy MBIE 26 June 2022 5. Australian card activity remained steady throughout June
6. Change in spend in major urban centres reflects the nationwide trend
7. Smaller regions experienced growth in Australian spend on 2019 levels
8. The gap in recovery between South Island communities reliant on international tourism compared to other regions is closing

Border arrivals from Australia continue to recover towards 2019 levels

Overall border arrivals from Australia totalled 36,500 in the week-ended 28 June 2022. This figure is a considerable increase when compared with the fortnight prior (28,300).

This record is also greater than at any point in 2021 quarantine-free travel, which peaked at 21,800 Australian arrivals (down 61% on 2019) in the middle of May 2021.

However, the current arrivals figure is down 43% compared with the same week in 2019.

Queenstown Airport now leads all airports in recovery to 2019 levels

Border arrivals in Queenstown are now only 35% down on 2019 levels, welcoming 5,200 arrivals in the latest week ended 28 June.

Queenstown Airport has overtaken the other three major international airports in terms of recovery to 2019 levels. Auckland Airport arrivals remained down 54% on 2019 in the latest week, despite the seasonal increase in arrivals in June.

Business and holiday visitor arrivals continue to increase

In the week-ended 12 June 2022, 17,500 international visitors arrived in New Zealand.

While this figure was down 60% on pre-COVID 2019 levels, it was up 39% on 2021 levels when the border was only open to Australia.

In that latest week, 22% (3,800 visitors) were here for a holiday. This proportion is still down on the same week in 2019, where 39% (16,900 visitors) arrived for a holiday.

Australian visitor arrivals recovering faster than total border arrivals compared with 2019 levels

In the week-ended 12 June 2022, 12,500 arrivals came from Australia – 71% of all international visitors. This figure is up 7% on 2021 levels but remains down 36% on 2019 levels.

However, Australian visitor arrivals are recovering faster (down 36% on 2019 levels) than overall Australian border arrivals (which includes NZ resident arrivals), down 43% on 2019 levels.

Australian card activity remained steady throughout June

Throughout June, change in Australian electronic card transaction (ECT) spend hovered between 20% and 33% on 2019 levels.

The two troughs in June are due to higher than usual spend in the baseline 2019 figures. Actual spend in the current period remains steady.

Change in spend in major urban centres reflects the nationwide trend

The three major urban regions: Wellington, Auckland, and Canterbury, all saw Australian ECT spend recover to levels similar to the nationwide trend.

In the week-ended 26 June 2022, these regions were down 25%, 33%, and 35% (respectively) on 2019 levels, while nationwide spend was down 31%.

Smaller regions experienced growth in Australian spend on 2019 levels

Gisborne experienced the greatest growth, up 55% in the latest week ended 26 June 2022 compared with the same week in 2019. Gisborne was the smallest region in June 2019 in terms of Australian spend, so is likely to see higher volatility.

Manawatū-Whanganui was consistently up on 2019 levels throughout June. Its growth on 2019 levels ranged from 1% to 25%.

Northland and Hawke’s Bay also experienced growth on 2019 levels during parts of June.

The gap in recovery between South Island communities reliant on international tourism compared to other regions is closing

The gap in the decline in Australian spend experienced by the five Tourism Communities and the decline experienced nationwide is closing after Queenstown Airport reopened to international tourists.

In the latest week ended 26 June, the decline in spend in Southland (23%) and Kaikōura District (26%) surpassed the nationwide average decline (31%).

Queenstown and Mackenzie District are both down 43% in the same week.

Explore related content from the Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre:

Related resources from the Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre:

Tourism Recovery Dashboard Trans-Tasman Quarantine Free Travel datapack (1 June 2021)