Aust and China to drive tourism
Visitor numbers are expected to rise by 28 percent in the next six years, but their spending will only grow by 9 percent
More tourists from Australia and China will visit New Zealand over the next six years, but they will be spending less time and money here, economists predict.
New Zealand's tourism sector outlook: Forecasts for 2012-2018, produced by NZIER and released today, predicts visitor numbers are expected to rise by 28 percent in the next six years, but their spending will only grow by 9 percent.
The average spend per day will remain steady, but Australians and Asian will make increasingly shorter trips, NZIER says.
Tourism numbers from the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Japan and Korea are predicted to decline.
Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden says the new forecasts show where tourism efforts need to be made.
"Clearly China will be a big growth market but there is no room for complacency. We need to ensure that we keep improving the quality of the visitor experience to secure greater spend from this important sector."
Mr Snedden said the UK and Europe markets were challenging but remained important for New Zealand.
The was evidence medium-risk markets such as Japan and the USA were growing, as shown by Air New Zealand's recent decisions to increase its capacity out of both countries, he said.