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Tourism Recovery Insights data pack - 2 August

August 02, 2022

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

Data Purpose Source Updated 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 26 July 2022 1. The peak in Australian arrivals has passed as the school holiday period ends
2. Queenstown Airport leading all airports in recovery to 2019 levels
Weekly visitor arrivals Short-term overseas visitor data from arrival card information StatsNZ 10 July 2022 3. Australian visitor arrivals close to meeting 2019 levels at the school holiday peak
4. UK and USA visitor arrivals doubled since the last TRI
Consumer spend data Uses electronic card data as indicator of change in expenditure patterns in the economy MBIE 24 July 2022 5. UK and USA card spend leads Australia in recovery to 2019 levels
6. Australian card spend data for South Island destinations also fell following school holidays
Reconnecting New Zealand reporting Data on visa applications, approvals and arrivals through Reconnecting New Zealand. For tourism, we focus on the Working Holiday Scheme. Immigration NZ 2 Aug 2022 7. 3,320 arrivals with a Working Holiday Scheme visa since reopening in March
Migrant Population Data Data on visa holders currently residing in Aotearoa New Zealand. For tourism, we are reporting Working Holiday Scheme visa holders to understand migrant labour available to the sector. MBIE 30 June 2022 8. Working Holiday Scheme visa holders in NZ down 86% in June 2022 compared with 2019

The peak in Australian arrivals has passed as the school holiday period ends

Overall border arrivals from Australia totalled 43,600 in the week to July 26. This figure is similar to that of two weeks ago (43,500), but still down 39% compared with the same week in 2019.

This measure peaked at 44,700 in the week to July 8, in the middle of the Australian school holidays, and dropped off through the tail end of this school holiday period .

Australian border arrivals then picked up in the last week of the data. This increase is largely explained by New Zealanders returning at the end of our school holidays .

Queenstown Airport leading all airports in recovery to 2019 levels

Weekly border arrivals in Queenstown are now only down 23% on 2019 levels, welcoming 7,300 arrivals in the latest week-ended 26 July.

Auckland has the lowest recovery rate compared to 2019 of the 4 major international airports, down 52%.

As mentioned before, the slight pickup in the latest results may be explained by New Zealanders returning at the end of our school holidays.

Australian visitor arrivals close to meeting 2019 levels at the school holiday peak

In the week to 10 July 2022, 25,900 visitor arrivals came from Australia – 73% of all visitors. This figure was only down 13% on 2019 levels.

This figure was up 6,300 from two weeks ago (19,600), continuing the rapid rate of increase seen before this.

UK and USA visitor arrivals doubled since the last TRI

In the week to 10 July 2022, 1,200 visitor arrivals came from the UK (3% of all visitors) and 1,900 visitor arrivals came from the USA (5% of all visitors). These figures are double that seen a fortnight ago (590 UK and 1,100 USA arrivals).

However, these figures are still down 33% and 54% respectively on 2019 levels.

UK and USA card spend leads Australia in recovery to 2019 levels

An increase in UK and USA card spend reflects the increase in UK and USA arrivals.

Throughout July, spend from US cards experienced growth on 2019 levels, up 10% in the latest week to 24 July compared with the same week in 2019.

British card spend experienced changes ranging from -2.5% to 0.4% throughout that week.

International electronic card spend measures card activity from most cards registered to an international bank. This measure may include card spend from New Zealand residents with internationally-registered cards. Furthermore, this measure is calculated using nominal values, and is not adjusted for inflation when compared with 2019.

Australian card spend data for South Island destinations also fell following school holidays

In the week to 24 July, compared with the same week in 2019:

  • Australian card spend nationwide was down 29%.
  • Australian card spend in Kaikōura District was down 21%, and largely performed better than the nationwide average change over the same period. This decline is similar to what Kaikōura experienced around two weeks ago.
  • Australian spend in Queenstown-Lakes District was down 40%, underperforming the nationwide average change. This decline is greater than that of two weeks ago (down 27%).
  • Australian spend in Mackenzie, Southland and Westland District was also below the national average, down 35%-48%.

3,320 arrivals with a Working Holiday Scheme visa since reopening in March

The Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) visa reopened for applications on 14 March 2022. Between this reopening and 2 August 2022:

  • 39,350 WHS applications have been received by Immigration New Zealand. 39,020 of these received applications were from offshore.
  • Of these received applications, 37,260 were approved. 37,100 of these approved applications were from offshore.
  • 3,320 people arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand with a WHS visa.
Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) Offshore Onshore Total WHS - Special Direction Offshore Onshore Total Grand Total
Applications received 20,970 330 21,300 Applications received 18,050 <=5 18,050 39,350
Applications approved 19,050 150 19,200 Applications approved 18,050 <=5 18,050 37,260
Arrivals 2,550 Arrivals 760 3,320

Working Holiday Scheme visa holders in NZ down 86% in June 2022 compared with 2019

As at 30 June 2022, there were 4,275 WHS visa holders in New Zealand. In comparison, there were 31,539 WHS visa holders in New Zealand on 30 June 2019 (down 86%).

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