This update contains the following:
- Accommodation Data Programme (ADP) August 2023 data release
- Monthly Unique Regional Population Estimates (MURPEs) August 2023 data release
- Update on the first data release of Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs)
- Pausing data releases and the upcoming review of the MURPEs
- Improvement of historical Tourism Electronic Card Transaction (TECT) data
- Request for contribution to the Tourism Insights Users Group’s (TIUG) November 2023 meeting
Key points for August 2023
The international tourism market accelerated strongly in August 2023, with a range of metrics exceeding or approaching pre-COVID levels. New Zealand’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup provided a boost to visitor arrivals. By comparison, the domestic tourism market was relatively subdued compared to August 2022, possibly due to a greater propensity for Kiwis to travel overseas and a tightening in discretionary spending. However, domestic guest nights and visitor volume in August 2023 were still well above levels seen in August 2019, prior to the pandemic.
Accommodation Data Programme (ADP)
- Total guest nights up from last year’s levels — Nationwide, core tourism accommodation providers hosted 2.6 million guest nights in August 2023, up 12% from August 2022 and on par with August 2019 levels.
- Domestic guest nights down, international guest nights up from last year’s levels — Domestic guest nights remain higher than pre-COVID levels but have decreased since August 2022. Domestic guest nights totalled 1.8 million (70% of the total guest nights) in August 2023. These were down 2% from the same month in 2022 but up 10% from August 2019 levels. International guest nights in August 2023 reached 80% of pre-pandemic levels and were up 74% from August 2022.
- Compared with August 2019, Fiordland and Wairarapa showed the strongest proportional rise in domestic and international guest nights — For domestic guest nights, Fiordland (up 131%) and Timaru (up 97%) showed the strongest proportional growth, while Ruapehu showed the strongest proportional fall (down 32%). For international guest nights, Wairarapa showed the strongest proportional increase (up 55%), while Northland showed the strongest proportional decrease (down 64%).
- Queenstown and Auckland had the highest occupancy rates — Queenstown (74%) and Auckland (67%) RTOs recorded the highest occupancy rates, well above the national average (48%) in August 2023.
- High occupancy rates in more-than-20-unit motels and apartments, and hotels — Of all property types, motels and apartments with more than 20 units, and hotels had the highest occupancy rate (68%) in August 2023.
Monthly Unique Regional Population Estimates (MURPEs)
- Domestic visitor volume down from last year but up from pre-COVID levels — Nationwide, estimated unique domestic visitors totalled 2 million in August 2023, down 10% from August 2022 but up 10% from August 2019 levels. Compared with August 2019, Tairawhiti (up 82%) and Mackenzie (up 58%) showed the strongest proportional increases in domestic visitor volume.
- International visitor volumes have increased strongly compared to last year and are approaching pre-COVID levels — Nationwide, estimated unique international visitors totalled 376,000 in August 2023, up 94% from August 2022. The gap between current and pre-COVID levels of international visitors has narrowed since June 2023. The August 2023 international visitor volume is now 97% of August 2019 levels. Compared with August 2019, Tairawhiti showed the strongest proportional increase (up 13%) in international visitors, while Coromandel (down 57%) and Fiordland (down 46%) showed the largest proportional decreases.
Releasing Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs) toward the end of November 2023
We aim to release September 2023 MRTE data toward the end of November 2023. This will be the first time since the COVID-19 disruption. In the same release, we will also include historical MRTE data from January 2019 and update MBIE and Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre (TEIC) websites with visualisations and methodology documents.
Monthly Unique Regional Population Estimates (MURPEs) will be paused while we undertake a review process
MURPEs is a 12-month experimental series that uses mobile data to help understand regional visitor volumes. We are beginning a review process to ensure measures are robust, useful and fit for purpose. Future releases of MURPE data will be paused. We anticipate the review will take about 6–8 months and will be in touch soon to let you know how you can be involved.
Historical MURPE data from January 2019 to October 2023 will remain available for access and can be downloaded from the TEIC.
Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre (TEIC)
More information about MURPEs can be found here.
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
Historical Tourism Electronic Card Transaction (TECT) data remains available
The TECT series was discontinued in September 2023; however, historical TECT data remains accessible through TEIC. The TECT data provider has updated historical TECT data for the regions that are more heavily impacted by international tourism and seasonal trends, for example, Ruapehu. This has resulted in some changes to the historical data for this release.
Tourism Electronic Card Transactions
Next TIUG meeting on the 23 November 2023 from 2-3.30pm
The Tourism Insights Users Group (TIUG) meetings bring the sector together to discuss the latest developments in tourism research, data, and analytics. We are seeking presentations for our upcoming meeting. If you have any updates you would like to share, please contact us via our email here.
Tourism Evidence and Insight team
Only certain measures in the ADP can be compared to the Accommodation Survey
This update compares August 2023 to August 2022 and August 2019 for ADP and MURPEs. Due to methodological differences between the ADP and the Accommodation Survey, only aggregated volume figures, such as guest nights, are compared at the national or RTO level.
Tourism Electronic Card Transactions
Caution should be used with the TECT data
Domestic and international figures are not adjusted for inflation and seasonality. They should also be used separately and not added together. This is because electronic card transactions in each market represent a different proportion of total tourism spend, meaning they cannot be directly compared. More information can be found here.
Data release calendar - Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
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The Tourism Evidence and Insights team at MBIE has a LinkedIn social media channel for the Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre (TEIC). This page brings dynamic and concise updates like this from the TEIC straight to your LinkedIn feed.
Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre – LinkedIn
ADP and MRTE September 2023 data will be released in November 2023.
See our tourism data release calendar with release dates to December 2023.
Data release calendar